No. 1 St. Frances rolls past IND

No. 10 Indians give up 39 turnovers in 73-55 loss

Girls basketball

High Schools

December 16, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Every time the No. 10 Institute of Notre Dame girls basketball team started closing the gap last night, top-ranked St. Frances had an answer.

With superior rebounding and a swarming defense, the Panthers easily kept their distance from their visiting East Baltimore neighbors en route to a 73-55 victory in a rematch of last season's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final.

The defending champion Panthers (3-1, 2-0) opened the game with an 8-0 blitz, converting four IND turnovers. They went on to force 39 turnovers and out-rebound the Indians 39-28 through the last three quarters, fighting off any chance for IND to recover.

The Indians (2-2, 2-2) pulled within four when Chandrea Jones hit a three-pointer early in the second quarter, but then the Panthers were off again. Shadae Swan scored seven of her 17 points to spark a 12-0 run that stretched the Panthers' lead to 32-16 midway through the second quarter.

The next IND rally brought the Indians within 34-27 late in the quarter, but they would get no closer despite a game-high 27 points from junior guard Jones, who scored her 1,000th career point last night.

In the second half, the Panthers maintained at least a 10-point edge and then pulled away in the fourth quarter.

"We worked hard and we fought back, but they're just too big and too strong for us on the boards," said IND coach Herb Hoelter. "We're strong and small and they're strong and tall. Rebounding made the difference in this game, particularly on their offensive glass."

Leading the way, last year's All-Metro Player of the Year Angel McCoughtry had 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals.

"We needed to box them out, but even when we did, they were kind of coming over our backs and getting the ball," said IND forward Brooks Webster, who had eight points and seven rebounds.

The Panthers are in the midst of one of their toughest runs of the season - a six-day stretch that features games against two of their top three IAAM A Conference opponents as well as two of the top five teams in The Washington Post rankings.

That stretch ends tomorrow against No. 4 Roland Park. It began over the weekend at Western's She's Got Game Tournament, where the Panthers lost to The Post's fifth-ranked team, St. John's, 64-50, before rebounding to beat its No. 2 team, Riverdale Baptist, 60-55.

The Panthers welcome the competition.

"These are all tough games, but this is going to help us get better," said McCoughtry, whose team has not lost to an IAAM opponent since Feb. 14, 2002. "We needed that win [over Riverdale Baptist] to get our confidence back after we lost to St. John's, but we look forward to all of these tough games."

Notre Dame Prep 55, No. 4 Roland Park 44: For the second time this young season, the Blazers have upset a top 10 team. Last week, the Blazers beat then-No. 8 IND, 72-42, when the Indians had three of their top seven players out with the flu.

But last night, the host Blazers (3-2, 2-1) upset a full Reds team (3-2, 2-1) in an IAAM A Conference game behind a pressure defense and 11 points each from Grace Carmen and Molly Kane. No Reds players scored in double figures.

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