Free throws prove bonus as Severn wins, 56-49

Admirals top T. Catholic, take first in B Conference

Girls basketball

January 21, 2004|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Aggressive offense made all the difference for No. 17 Severn in last night's 56-49 victory over No. 19 Towson Catholic.

The Admirals got to the foul line for 11 free throws in the fourth quarter and that helped them hold off the Owls in a showdown between two of the three first-place teams in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference. The host Owls scored two more field goals than the Admirals, but Severn hit 11 more free throws.

Sarah Meisenberg, who finished with 29 points, made three free throws in the final minute to seal the victory. Just before that, the Owls had whittled a 17-point Severn lead to 53-49.

"Getting to the line was most important, because it got their big people in foul trouble. We also made a few when we had to," said Meisenberg, who scored 11 points from the line.

The Admirals (13-1 overall, 8-1 B Conference) started off strong, running their set offense efficiently and creating high percentage shots. During a 21-6 run that gave them a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter, the Admirals shot 10-for-15 from the field.

"We were very patient early in the game. We did the things that we do best -- patience on offense and taking advantage of our breaks," said Severn coach Chuck Miller, whose team moved into first place in the B Conference, a half game ahead of No. 18 St. Paul's (7-1). Last night as the Admirals pulled away, the Owls shot 3-for-16 from the field.

"We weren't attacking the basket," said Owls coach Tiffany Silver. "We were being content with passing on the perimeter. We didn't want to score. When you don't want to score and you don't play defense, it doesn't make for a pretty match."

Two Meisenberg free throws gave the Admirals a 40-23 lead with 3:44 left in the third quarter, but the Owls (11-5, 7-2) rallied.

Going inside to their height advantage in 5-11 Tracey Johns (eight points, seven rebounds) and 5-10 Whitney Stanfield (14 points, 12 rebounds), the Owls began to close the gap. Johns scored six straight points and Stanfield converted a steal to cut the lead to 43-31 by the end of the quarter.

Quick guard Takeirra White scored four of her 11 points and then Johns, Stanfield and Candice Walker all hit from close range. Walker's layup off a steal got the Owls as close as they would get, cutting the margin to 53-49 with 1:04 left.

In the final minute, however, the Admirals regained their composure after making a few unforced turnovers. They held onto the ball and forced the Owls to foul them down the stretch.

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