Seton Keough lets defense carry it to 37-28 win

Though offense sputters, Gators stop St. Mary's

Girls basketball

High Schools

December 11, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

With its early-season offense still inconsistent, the No. 6 Seton Keough girls basketball team turned to its trademark yesterday at No. 14 St. Mary's: harassing defense.

Up-close man-to-man, trapping in the corners and doubling on the ball - that's what the Gators came with for four quarters. The Saints never had a comfortable moment.

The Gators' offense came in bits and pieces from eight different players, including a 10-1 run in the final four minutes of the first half and a five-point spurt in the final 46 seconds of the third quarter, which was more than enough for Seton Keough, which remained undefeated at 3-0 with a 37-28 win in Annapolis.

"I'm glad the box score doesn't say a pretty win or an ugly win - just a win," said Seton Keough coach Jackie Boswell. "We always know the good defense will be there, so we just tell them it's going to be OK if we're not shooting the ball real well at times. It calms the kids down and they believe it."

The Saints (0-2) had a 17-13 lead with 4:28 to play in the second quarter when the Gators came up with their only big offensive run.

A follow from sophomore Haliena Snowden, consecutive baskets from Kristin McLaughlin, a jumper from Julie Stewart and two free throws by Jessica Parrish with 32 seconds left in the half were answered by only one free throw to give the Gators a 23-18 lead.

And while its offense continued to invite the Saints to close it up in the second half, Seton Keough's defense - with senior guard Kelly O'Connell sticking close to talented Saints junior Bri Gauthier - didn't want the company.

The Gators, who themselves shot only 26 percent from the field, limited the Saints to just three field goals in the second half - one in the fourth quarter.

"At halftime, we weren't too happy about giving up 18 points," said Boswell. "We told the kids that's too many. So to give up only 10 in the second half, the defense did the job."

Senior Heather Galvin and McLaughlin led Seton Keough's offense with eight points each; Snowden had 14 rebounds and O'Connell had a key three-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter to go with her strong defense.

Gauthier and senior forward Jaime Latta both scored nine points for St. Mary's.

Despite the loss, St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson said he saw more things to build on yesterday than in Monday's disappointing, 45-39 upset loss to Severn.

"Keough played very tough defense. They put tremendous pressure on Bri and the others weren't able to step up, but it was a much better effort than on Monday," said Dobson.

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