St. Mary's falls short in Classic finale

Gauthier's ankle sprain costly for No. 16 Saints

High Schools

Girls basketball

December 30, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

LANHAM - Going against a quicker Holy Cross team that also had more height, the St. Mary's girls basketball team compensated with tireless effort, a tight zone defense and a slow pace in last night's championship game of the Holiday Hoops Classic at Washington Bible College.

All those things kept the No. 16 Saints close well into the fourth quarter, but junior guard Bri Gauthier suffered an ankle sprain that coincided with Holy Cross taking over for a 54-44 win.

Shortly after Gauthier hit a three-pointer to cut the Tartans' lead to 41-39 with 4:15 to play, she fell when backpedaling on defense. Holy Cross guard Taylor Yearwood hit a jumper as it happened to give the Tartans (9-1) a 43-39 lead and they ran off 10 points after that to beat the scrappy Saints, who are now 7-3 on the season.

"We did what we wanted - played at our tempo," St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson said. "But when the motor fell out of the car, it couldn't run anymore."

Gauthier, who injured the same ankle last week, finished with a team-high 18 points. The Saints came out slow on offense, missing their first four shots and turning the ball over four more times before junior Bridget Noon hit a short jumper with 2:45 left in the first quarter.

But their defense and slowdown game kept them close throughout and when Gauthier connected on consecutive three-pointers in the middle of the third quarter, the Saints had a 27-22 lead. With Yearwood (game-high 21 points) and Krystle Earle (11 points) leading the way, the Tartans rallied and then took the game over.

Arundel 91, Churchill 46: Relentless defense and good shooting from the perimeter led the No. 1 Wildcats (6-1) to an easy win over the Bulldogs from Montgomery County in a consolation game.

Arundel took charge from the start, forcing 18 first-half turnovers and shooting 50 percent from the field to take a 48-18 halftime lead.

Strong guard play from juniors Alex McGuire and Ana Baker was the key. McGuire finished with a game-high 27 points, and Baker added 24 points, 10 assists and five steals. Junior forward Janae Butler added 14 points and 12 rebounds with sophomore guard Danae Brownlee the fourth Wildcat reaching double figures with 15 points.

What Arundel coach Lee Rogers liked most from last night's effort was the 29 assists his team had to just six turnovers.

"I like the way we played basketball tonight - like a team. Everyone is unselfish," he said. "We came out fast and the early momentum got us in a good rhythm both offensive and defensively. We did a good job of setting the tone."

McGuire was voted tournament Most Valuable Player with 77 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the three games.

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