Western goes inside, keeps away Oxon Hill, 49-44

No. 4 Doves overcome 12-4 first-quarter deficit

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 11, 2004|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

When Western went to its inside game yesterday in its Basketball Academy matchup with Oxon Hill, the No. 4 Doves had little trouble maintaining a lead.

In the fourth quarter, a couple of early baskets from 6-foot-1 Zhondria Benn provided the spark for a nine-point lead that gave the Doves enough of an edge to escape Morgan State's Hill Field House with a 49-44 victory.

Benn's baskets, followed by a driving layup from Ebony Dennis and a pair of free throws from Mishca Minor after a technical foul on the Oxon Hill assistant coach, pushed the Doves' lead to 43-34 with 5:56 left.

The Doves (8-1) would need every bit of that lead, as the Clippers (7-2) from Prince George's County rallied. Mone't Bullock hit the last of the Clippers' six three-pointers with 5:09 left, but Lavon Woods answered that for 46-37 Doves lead.

Five Western turnovers over the next two minutes helped the Clippers mount a seven-point spurt that brought them within 46-44 with 1:47 left.

"We weren't playing defense," Benn said. "We were lapse and casual on the court. We knew we had the manpower to beat this team, but we just didn't keep up the same intensity, and we just forgot about our mismatches."

Benn finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and 6-3 teammate Whitney Cunningham had five points and eight rebounds.

In the last 50 seconds, the Doves' press forced a couple of critical turnovers and Western controlled the boards while Benn, Woods and Dennis each hit a free throw.

Earlier, the Doves got a boost from hot-shooting senior Bethany Sloat, who finished with a team-high 14 points. She scored 10 points, including two three-pointers, in a 15-3 second-quarter run that gave Western the lead for good.

Sloat's shooting, as well as a couple of key post plays by Benn, helped the Doves emerge from a 12-4 hole after the Clippers ended the first quarter with a 12-0 run.

"Our post game is where we're going to make our money," said Western coach Donchez Graham. "We also have really good shooters, but they were just a little off today."

In the girls finale of the eighth annual Basketball Academy, No. 5 Woodlawn scored the first 14 points of the game to spark a 66-57 victory over Dunbar.

The Warriors (7-3) led by as much as 29-4 early in the second quarter, helped by 10 Poets turnovers. Dunbar (4-5) turned the ball over on its first five possessions and seven of its first nine.

Still, the Poets nearly made a game out of it behind 21 points from Nakina Hill, although Hill's buzzer beater at the end of the game cut the margin to single digits for the first time.

Tiara Wildy led the Warriors with 20 points and All-Metro guard Brittney Taylor added 19.

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