Western's inside duo of 6-foot-1 Zhondria Benn and 6-3 Whitney Cunningham spent much of last night's Class 3A North region semifinal in foul trouble, but they still did enough damage to lift the No. 5 Doves past Fallston, 64-45.
The duo combined for 25 points and 17 rebounds and the Cougars could not keep them both in check. Late in the first half, Benn scored six and Cunningham completed a three-point play in a 9-4 run that would give the fifth-ranked Doves (21-4) the lead for good at 26-20.
Fallston (21-4) pulled within 26-24 early in the second half as Benn sat with four fouls. Shea Ellison finished off a three-point play and Lavon Woods (16 points) fed Mischa Minor to start a 12-2 run that would boost the Doves' lead to 15 as Western advanced to the region final and will play host to No. 8 Milford Mill tomorrow at noon.
"In the first half, it was a little run-and-gun, we didn't look inside very much," said Cunningham, "and so that frustrated us post players, but we picked it up in the second half and our guards distributed [the ball]. That's what I appreciate about our guards, they get us the ball when they know we need the ball."
Carrie Adams led the Cougars with 11 points. Fallston's top scorer, Amanda Andrews, who scored 31 in Wednesday's win over Towson, scored eight.
No. 1 Arundel 81, Meade 37: Arundel jumped out to an 18-8 lead in the first quarter and never lost the lead to the visiting Mustangs (18-6).
Janae Butler garnered a game-high 24 points and All-Metro guard Alex McGuire scored 17 points.
The defending 4A state champs will play South River tomorrow in the region final.
The Wildcats will be playing for their third straight region championship.
No. 7 Southside 74, Reginald Lewis 16: Sheree Ledbetter scored 26 points to lead the Jaguars over the Falcons in a 1A South region semifinal.
No. 8 Milford Mill 70, Catonsville 54: The Millers (20-3) advanced to the 3A North region final behind senior forward Chelsea Jeter's 20 points.
Jeter surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career.
No. 9 Severna Park 59, McDonough 43: Jen Wiley scored 16 points as the host Falcons (20-5) beat the Rams in a Class 3A South semifinal.
Severna Park faces Westlake tomorrow at 7 p.m.
No. 11 City 64, Eastern Tech 27: The Knights (18-7) were led by Ebony Smith, who had 15 points and 14 rebounds in a win over the visiting Mavericks.
City's defense held John'A Poole, the metro's top scorer at 26 points per game, to 17 in the regional semifinal.
City will defend its 2A North region championship against Poly tomorrow.
No. 12 South River 62, Great Mills 51: Stacy Hunt scored 26 to power the Seahawks (19-5) past the Hornets (19-5) in a Class 4A East semifinal.
South River led 16-9 after the first quarter and never trailed. The Seahawks face Arundel in tomorrow's final at 2 p.m.
No. 13 Woodlawn 56, Southwestern 32: Senior forward Milan Heard led the Warriors (21-4) over the Sabers with a double double of 22 points and 10 rebounds.
The Warriors will play Thomas Johnson tomorrow at home for the 4A North region championship.
Poly 59, Lansdowne 49: The Engineers (15-7) upset the top-seeded Vikings behind Britni Lonesome's game-high 21 points.
Joppatowne 70, Elkton 47: Ashley Marshall and Arielle Townes combined for 28 points to power the host Mariners (19-5) past the Elks in a Class 1A North semifinal.
No. 8 Douglass 74, Milford Mill 62: Troy Smith and Antione Smithson totaled 39 points to power the Ducks past the Millers (17-6) in a Class 3A North semifinal.
Ronald Smith led all scorers with 26 points, and Brian Word had 19 for Milford Mill.
Douglass faces Randallstown in the region championship today.
No. 6 Randallstown 81, Mervo 77: Domonic Venable's 17 points led the host Rams (23-1) over the Mustangs.