Western asserts power, 62-41

No. 2 handily defeats fourth-ranked Southside

Girls basketball

High Schools

February 05, 2005|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Western's second-ranked girls basketball team did not have to look far for motivation going into last night's Baltimore City showdown with No. 4 Southside.

The Jaguars provided all the incentive the host Doves needed to sprint to an early lead en route to a 62-41 victory.

"Southside talked a lot of trash," said Western's senior point guard Lavon Woods, "so we wanted to prove them wrong and show that we're the best team in the city."

The Jaguars (12-2, 4-1 city league) likely were the only team that could have kept the Doves from a berth in the city title game. The Doves have three league games left, but Southside and Western have beaten the opposition in their bracket by an average of 39 points.

The Doves (14-3, 6-0) are looking for a title date with defending champ City, which remains unbeaten in its bracket.

Last night, the Doves smothered Southside with their defensive intensity, something the Jaguars could not match until early in the third quarter. By then, the Doves led 37-17.

"Against a team like this that's very disciplined and plays a lot of defense, you have to, from the beginning of the game, play defense if nothing else," said Southside coach Dafne Lee-Blakney. "Offense will come, but as long as they stop you, you have to stop them from scoring."

The Doves dominated inside with 6-1 Zhondria Benn and 6-3 Whitney Cunningham grabbing 26 rebounds as the Doves won the battle of the boards, 52-37.

The Doves' inside presence opened up the outside and Mischa Minor took advantage, nailing four three-pointers and finishing with 14 points. Ebony Dennis also finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Southside's Sheree Ledbetter had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

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