St. Frances' defense earns IAAM `A' title

Top-ranked Panthers turn back IND, 48-32

High Schools

Girls basketball

March 03, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

St. Frances senior Nytearia Burrell knew the time had come to step up in yesterday's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference basketball championship.

With fifth-ranked Institute of Notre Dame hovering within four points in the fourth quarter and entertaining thoughts of knocking the Panthers off their No. 1 pedestal, Burrell stepped to the free-throw line and nailed both shots. On the next play, she stole the ball from IND point guard Katie Hoelter in open court and made the layup.

Burrell's kick set off a spurt that, in 41 seconds, stretched the Panthers' lead to 11, providing plenty of momentum to seal their second title in three years, 48-32, and complete a wire-to-wire run as The Sun's No. 1 team.

Burrell, whose efforts often get lost in the high-scoring exploits of All-Metro forward Angel McCoughtry and shooting guard Shadae Swan, scored just five points yesterday, but those last four loomed large in a 26-2 season that ended with 20 straight wins.

"I'm a senior and I wanted to go out with a bang, so I had to make some big plays and it worked out," said the 5-foot-7 guard, who wowed the crowd of about 800 at Villa Julie College.

A starter on a team with a seemingly endless roster that got 18 points off the bench yesterday, Burrell did not surprise Panthers coach Jerome Shelton with her defensive prowess.

"She's our best defensive player," Shelton said. "That's what she's been able to do for us for four years - give us a lift defensively, get out on the open floor, finish plays."

Burrell's two big plays in the fourth quarter sparked a 16-2 stretch run that finished off IND for the third time this season.

After she pushed the lead to 36-28 with 6:33 to go, Swan made the Indians pay for another of their 17 turnovers when point guard Tammy Rodgers found her open for a 20-footer.

IND's Chandrea Jones answered with a terrific spin move to sink a layup with her back to the basket, but the All-Metro guard fouled out on the next play.

McCoughtry, who scored just six points but had 10 rebounds and four steals, hit both free throws to set off a 9-0 Panthers run for a 48-30 lead. The Indians (21-7) turned the ball over five times and missed four free throws during that run.

"They got kind of used to our defense," Hoelter said, "and they switched defenses, so we couldn't get into any rhythm with our offense."

The Panthers made their initial move in the second quarter, turning a 9-8 edge into a 25-11 lead through the middle four minutes of the quarter.

Swan, who finished with 16 points, hit a pair of three-pointers with another from Nija Bastfield sandwiched in between to start the breakaway.

"Angel was making sure we were on opposite sides," Swan said. "When they focused on Angel, it was leaving me and Nija wide-open on the outside. It seemed like the defense was going to Angel's side every time."

The Panthers needed the big lead - 15 points by halftime - because the Indians were far from finished.

They rallied in the third quarter, holding the Panthers to three points - all on free throws.

IND's Colby Lee scored five of her eight points in the quarter and fed Caroline Wesley for two of her five, but the Indians missed some key chances to make up even more ground, especially at the line, where they hit seven of 19 in the game.

With their trademark defensive pressure, the Panthers struck quickly in the final quarter.

"That's what they did all season," said IND coach Herb Hoelter. "In all three games, there's been a spurt where they jumped out to a 10-point lead and you try to dig your way out of it. Sometimes, we did. Sometimes we didn't. Today, we didn't."

Statistical leaders

(Final, through Saturday; at least 15 games)

Boys basketball

Scoring

(at least 10.0 ppg)

Name (School) G Pts. Avg.

S.Rozanski (Glenelg CS) 18 579 32.2

M. Stevenson (L. Raven) 17 443 26.1

Devin Mason (Granite) 20 453 22.7

L. Owens (Annap.) 22 481 21.9

M. Guest (Glen Burnie) 21 451 21.5

Jake Ayers (N.Harford) 20 429 21.5

Levi Stukes (Randllstn) 15 320 21.3

Essien Ford (Loyola) 31 630 20.3

Justin Holland (So-AA) 22 446 20.3

J. Johnson (Annapolis) 21 424 20.2

J. McClinton (Cal.Hall) 28 546 19.5

K. Porter (Ches-AA) 20 385 19.3

M. Thomas (Pikesville) 18 345 19.1

Matt Hall (Southern-AA) 21 395 18.8

Josh McKay (E. Tech) 20 373 18.7

Terry Hosley (Parkville) 19 353 18.6

Akai Jackson (AACS) 24 443 18.5

H. Plack (St.Paul's) 27 477 17.7

D. Brady (Sparrows Pt.) 18 314 17.4

Lance Fuller (Woodlawn) 16 277 17.3

Chris Folland (Century) 22 371 16.9

S. Evans (Chapelgate) 21 357 17.0

A. Gross (Southern-AA) 22 365 16.6

Ray Williams (Meade) 20 332 16.6

Zach O'Hare (CMW) 20 329 16.5

W. Foreman (Pikesville) 18 296 16.4

J. Marchany (Glenelg) 18 292 16.2

S. Wooden (Carver) 20 321 16.1

Irmak Emekdas (Park) 25 396 15.8

Dan Cullen (Granite) 20 308 15.4

J. Hamilton (P. Hall) 19 290 15.2

C. Donald (Pallotti) 26 390 15.0

M. Popoko (McDonogh) 27 402 14.9

S. Dickey (Chapelgate) 18 269 14.9

Rudy Gay (Spalding) 26 383 14.7

Micah Mbah (Atholton) 17 244 14.4

Joe Handy (Catons.) 19 271 14.3

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