At last, Loch Raven returns to states

Raiders edge R. Sun, 51-47, for first berth since 1976

Class 1A North girls basketball

High Schools

March 09, 2003|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After a 27-year absence, Loch Raven secured a trip to the girls basketball state semifinals yesterday, rallying past visiting Rising Sun of Cecil County, 51-47, in the Class 1A North region title game.

The Raiders will join Woodlawn, Milford Mill and Catonsville as Baltimore County representatives at UMBC, starting Thursday.

In an all-area semifinal Friday night at 9, Loch Raven (16-4) will play defending state champion Dunbar at UMBC's Field House. The No. 16 Poets, seeking a fourth consecutive state title, won at Forestville of Prince George's County, 48-39, in the South region finals yesterday.

"We went all out. We played tough 1-3-1 [zone] and man-to-man full-court defense," said Raiders junior center Megan Battle. "We played with a lot of heart and totally wanted to win this."

Loch Raven, which won the county Division III title during the regular season, scored the game's final 10 points to stun Rising Sun (14-7), which had a six-point advantage and momentum with 3:38 remaining. The Raiders, who won their only state title in 1976, lost in last year's region quarterfinals to Havre de Grace.

Battle, Laura Queen and Liz Entwisle were members of the Raiders' JV team that saw a perfect season ruined at the buzzer in the county finals two seasons ago. The trio wasn't denied yesterday, as Queen, a junior guard, led Loch Raven with 16 points and Entwisle added 15. Battle, 5-foot-10, had 10 rebounds and several key assists.

After an offensive rebound, Battle (nine points, five assists) passed off to Queen, who made a three-pointer from the corner, giving Loch Raven a 48-47 lead with 55 seconds remaining. Battle came up with a steal with about 30 seconds left, and Entwisle hit an open three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining.

The Raiders had taken their first lead of the second half, 40-39, on Queen's three-pointer with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter. With Erin Covert scoring seven of her 12 points, Rising Sun then went on an 8-1 run to take a 47-41 advantage.

Queen ended a five-minute field-goal drought for the Raiders with a jumper off an assist by Battle with 1:24 to go. After pulling to 47-45, Battle got a rebound after two missed free throws by Rising Sun, and then grabbed an offensive rebound after a miss by Entwisle, setting up Queen for the game-leading shot from the corner.

"I never thought something like this could happen," said Entwisle, who also plays for the Raiders' lacrosse team. "Loch Raven, a school known for lacrosse and soccer, and I'm going to the state semifinals. Nobody would've imagined basketball going very far."

RS - Hensley 17, Bennett 4, Gross 7, Bauer 2, Price 5, Covert 12. Totals 16 12-29 47. LR - Queen 16, Battle 9, Entwisle 15, Leilani 4, Demarais 4, Snyder 2, Askey 1. Totals 16 13-28 51. Half: LR, 25-24.

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