St. Paul's hands Severn first loss

Robinson sparks Gators in 61-49 upset of Admirals

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 08, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The things that require extra effort - like getting to loose balls and boxing out for rebounds - were largely responsible for the No. 14 Severn girls basketball team rattling off 11 straight wins to start the season.

Last night, it was visiting St. Paul's doing those things and in a big way.

With more size in the post and more energy all over the court, the Gators made the most of second and third looks at the basket and played stifling defense to defeat the Admirals, 61-49, in a Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference game.

Junior forward Mercedes Robinson finished with a team-high 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Gators, who improved to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in conference play. The Admirals, who got 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists from junior Sarah Meisenberg, fell to 11-1 and 6-1 in the conference.

"Our effort was outstanding from start to finish and that's what we've been preaching to the girls: Can we play an entire game?" St. Paul's coach Jon Strebe said. "We did that today for the first time this season and our post kids were particularly unbelievable."

A steady dose of Robinson led the way, capped by a strong fourth quarter that helped the Gators keep a safe lead. Her three-point play with 1:44 left - answering a three-pointer from Severn forward Kim Warpinski - gave the Gators a 55-46 lead that sealed the win.

"We felt like we had something to prove today and I think that's what really motivated us to go after it - get the second-chance points and get to the floor for the loose balls," Robinson said. "We just wanted to do everything possible to get this win and sort of prove ourselves to everybody."

The Admirals kept it close throughout, but were never able to get into any rhythm offensively to make the needed run.

Late in the game, Meisenberg and senior forward Jess Adam both got into foul trouble, and with a limited bench, the Admirals couldn't keep up. Severn coach Chuck Miller was quick to credit the Gators relentless defense.

"I told my girls this was going to be the best-coached team we see this season. Their kids come out and they're in your face start to finish and my kids aren't always used to that," Miller said. "St. Paul's is tough and they play good, hard basketball."

Nine players scored for the Gators, one more than the Admirals had dressed for the game. Leslie Koch scored 12 points for the winners.

, "We needed to rebound better in order to win," Meisenberg said. "We didn't box out very well and that gave them second and third chances and we'd also foul them because we were out of position. Now we know their style of play, so hopefully next time we can adjust."

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