St. Frances wins 3rd straight title

Young team grows up fast, tops IND in IAAM, 68-52

Girls basketball

February 20, 2005|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

For St. Frances's fourth-ranked girls basketball team, last night's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship was simply a matter of a different cast orchestrating the same tune.

Without a senior on the floor, the Panthers won their third straight title, 68-52, over No. 6 Institute of Notre Dame in front of about 1,100 people at Villa Julie College. Coach Jerome Shelton's Panthers (21-6) have won four of the past five crowns.

"This is very special, because a lot of our players played very well. They stepped up the way I knew they could," said junior Maya Newman, the only returning starter from a year ago.

Freshman forward Danielle Parker led the Panthers with 19 points and sophomore center Mi-Khida Hankins had 12. Sophomore Keisha Walker led a stingy defense by holding the Indians' All-Metro ace Chandrea Jones to 16 points and keeping her multidimensional game in check anytime the momentum swung IND's way.

"They came with their A game, and we didn't," Jones said. "They played together as a team and basically, we didn't."

The Panthers came out strong just as they had a year ago when a veteran squad defeated Roland Park - St. Frances running up a big lead, their opponent rallying back but unable to handle the defensive pressure. The Indians (22-5) committed 25 turnovers - all in the first three quarters.

In the first 4:44, the Panthers rolled up a 14-0 lead thanks in part to six points and two steals from their leader Newman, who finished with 15 points.

The Indians rallied when Newman went to the bench in the second quarter in foul trouble. Amanda Ward's three-pointer at the end of the half cut the lead to 30-27, but the Indians could not get closer especially with Jones on the bench much of the third quarter with four fouls.

Early in the fourth quarter, Jones hit back-to-back three-pointers and then a layup in less than a minute, but that only cut the Panthers' lead to 55-44, and the Indians could not sustain the momentum.

"They're very athletic, and they played well today," IND coach Herb Hoelter said. "We had some defensive breakdowns at bad moments. We're a better defensive team than to give up that many points."

B Conference

Severn 58, Pallotti 54: Sarah Meisenberg scored 36 points to polish off a stellar career and lead the Admirals to their second straight conference title, beating the Panthers.

Meisenberg, a senior guard, hit six free throws in the final 22 seconds to keep Pallotti (18-6) from catching the Admirals after the Panthers had rallied to within 52-49 with 33 seconds left. She hit 16 of 18 free throws for the game.

Pallotti, which got 18 points from Annesia Faulkner, had the early lead, but Meisenberg erased a 26-18 Panthers lead with nine straight points to end the first half.

As the Panthers went cold for nearly seven minutes spanning the half, the Admirals (23-3) scored 17 straight points to gain a 35-26 edge.

"We got that big run before halftime to go up one, and we went into the locker room saying we played the worst half, but there was no way we were going to lose this," said Meisenberg, who also had seven rebounds, five assists and six steals.

C Conference

St. Timothy's 52, Lutheran 40: Mariame Djourara scored 26 points to lead St. Timothy's over Lutheran for its first IAAM basketball title.

The 5-foot-7 forward/guard also had 10 rebounds, five steals and five assists for St. Timothy's (19-4), which won 17 of its past 18 games. Rachael Keshishian led Lutheran (18-6) with 16 points.

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