Jeered Robinson cheers up St. Paul's

Chapelgate fans spur foe in St. Paul's 62-53 win

Girls basketball

High Schools

February 04, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Mercedes Robinson heard the jeers and the taunts, and she loved every single one.

Spurred by a raucous group of students rooting for the Chapelgate girls basketball team, Robinson channeled her anger through her play on the court to propel visiting St. Paul's to a 62-53 win against the Yellow Jackets in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference game in Marriottsville last night.

The Gators (16-2 overall and 12-1 in the division) remained in first place in the league thanks to a 41-30 rebounding advantage and Robinson.

The sophomore forward scored 12 of her team-high 20 points in the second half and collected 18 rebounds.

She practically carried St. Paul's in the fourth quarter, accounting for eight of the squad's 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

"It was Chapelgate's fans," Robinson said of the source for her effort. "Instead of letting their fans get to me, I used it as positive energy to motivate me on the floor."

The Gators shouldn't have needed much inspiration after dropping their first division game to Pallotti Friday - a contest that Robinson missed to attend a leadership conference.

Still, the Yellow Jackets kept pace with St. Paul's and even owned a 29-28 lead at halftime.

But the Gators opened the third quarter by scoring 10 unanswered points and sealed the victory in the fourth by converting eight of 11 free throws.

After Chapelgate shot 40.7 percent (11-for-27) from the field in the first half, St. Paul's defense harassed the Yellow Jackets into an 18.2 percentage (6-for-33) in the second.

"I thought our defense in the first half wasn't very good," said Gators coach Jon Strebe, who also got 14 points, five rebounds and four assists from sophomore guard Amara Hall. "But I think they only scored six points [actually, eight] on us in the third quarter. Our defense stepped it up in the third quarter."

Junior point guard Heather Landis led Chapelgate (12-5, 9-3) with a game-high 26 points, four rebounds and three steals, while junior guard Donna Geiger chipped in 13 points and three assists.

But the Yellow Jackets - forced to play almost three quarters without senior center Abby Hill, who injured her left knee leaping for a loose ball - couldn't match St. Paul's height and athleticism on the boards.

Hill's absence "impacted the game, but you can still rebound," Chapelgate coach Jim Barber said. "It's a team thing. We showed we could do it in the first half. We just weren't consistent."

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