Woodlawn survives in region final, 53-49

Warriors top Westminster for 18th victory in a row

Class 4A North girls basketball

High Schools

March 06, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Woodlawn girls basketball coach DeWayne Burroughs learned a long time ago that wins are more important than style points - especially at playoff time.

So while he bemoaned his team's inconsistency on offense for much of last night's Class 4A North region championship game against No. 11 Westminster, Burroughs took great satisfaction in the end result.

Paced by the inside-outside game of seniors Ronda Shelley and Candice Britton, the fourth-ranked Warriors survived the visiting Owls' upset bid and posted a 53-49 victory to claim their third consecutive regional crown.

The Warriors (23-3), the Baltimore County champions who have won 18 straight games, await the winner of today's 4A West final between Damascus and Springbrook. The Class 4A semifinal will be played Thursday at 5 p.m. at UMBC.

"I told the girls at halftime that at this point, it doesn't matter if you win by 20 or you win by one," said Burroughs, whose team led 25-21 at intermission. "We never got into a flow on offense, but compliment Westminster. We finally got it going a little bit in the second half."

The Warriors engineered an 11-4 run after halftime, giving them their biggest lead of the night (36-25) with 4:45 remaining in the third quarter. Britton, a lightning-quick point guard, had two points in the spurt and assisted on a three-pointer by Tiara Wildy (11 points) and a layup by Shelley.

Britton finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three steals. She also added seven assists, with most of them going to Shelley, who tied the Owls' Emily Bollinger with a game-high 18 points along with eight rebounds.

"We knew we could score [inside] and that's where I was trying to get it," Britton said.

Down 41-29 to start the fourth quarter after Tasha Morrison's jumper beat the third-quarter buzzer, the Owls (20-5) began to cut into the Warriors' lead.

A 6-1 spurt, paced by two baskets by Brianne Sims, cut Woodlawn's edge to five with 2:35 to play. But the Owls, who got 22 rebounds from senior Jen Walkling, got no closer until Walkling's basket at the buzzer.

Westminster coach Kevin Lawrence was left to ponder two long scoreless stretches - the Owls scored just two points in the game's first 6:55 and committed turnovers on their first six possessions - and 29 turnovers for the game.

"We went into an offensive dry spell," said Lawrence, whose team was champion of Carroll County and the Chesapeake Conference of the Monocacy Valley Athletic League. "It wasn't bad offense; it just wasn't quite enough."

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