Glenelg unable to guard against loss to Potomac

Hamilton gets 19 points, but Gladiators fall, 62-52

Class 2A South girls basketball

March 06, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

When the referees told Glenelg's Chela Hamilton before the game that she had to wear her lucky headband inside out so that a tiny logo did not show, she knew it was a bad sign.

"It made me angry and actually made me play harder," she said.

No matter how hard the senior played, however - and she and her teammates played with fervor - it wasn't enough to overcome Potomac's sensational guards, Lauren Brittingham (17 points) and Juantale Cook (20 points), who sparked the Wolverines to a 62-52 Class 2A South region championship last night at Glenelg.

"Their guards could drive or shoot from outside and that made it hard to cover them," said Hamilton, who scored 19 points and had nine rebounds. "No matter what we did, they always came back. I really wanted to win this game, and never played harder. It just slipped away."

No. 14-ranked Glenelg (19-6) was shooting for its fourth regional title in six years, and was hoping to eventually win its third state title in six years.

"Potomac deserved it," Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar said. "They played hard, shot well and moved the ball around more than I've seen them do in the past. We wanted to slow them down and it worked as long as we were scoring, but once we hit a dry spell, they were able to get their transition game going off their rebounds."

The most damaging dry spell came late in the third period after the Gladiators had built a 33-26 lead. Potomac went on a 16-2 run and led 42-35 after three quarters. Cook had two three-pointers and a free throw during the run. Glenelg never recovered.

After making just two baskets in the second quarter, Potomac (22-2) scored nine in the third quarter.

Potomac guard Tenisha Chase also created problems and scored 12 points - nine of them in the third quarter.

"We knew we'd have to be firing on all cylinders to win tonight," Lesikar said. "They're clearly the team to beat for the state title this year."

Junior Kait Clark had a strong shooting night for Glenelg with 17 points, but no one else scored more than five points.

Lesikar lavished praise on four-year starter Hamilton.

"In 15 years of coaching she's the No. 1 player I'd pick for my team in terms of her intensity, leadership and demeanor - and we'll miss her. She's the most remarkable player I've ever coached."

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