St. Frances played with intensity from start to finish in Wednesday night's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game at Seton Keough. The Panthers were especially tough on the offensive boards, where they created numerous scoring chances.
Top-ranked St. Frances scored 22 points after offensive rebounds, a big reason the Panthers pulled out a 51-35 victory over No. 5 Seton Keough, their second win against the Gators this season.
Briana Hutchen led St. Frances (13-3, 6-1) with 12 points and 20 rebounds. The senior forward came up with several offensive rebounds that helped the Panthers find second and third chances, which they often converted.
"We gave up a ton of second shots," Seton Keough coach Jackie Boswell said. "We didn't play [good] defense."
St. Frances scored a 70-62 overtime victory at home against Seton Keough (8-7, 3-3) last month. But the Panthers had an easier time in this game, as Tionne Evans (11 points), Shatyra Hawkes (eight points), Deanna Harmon (eight points) and Chelsea Dukes (eight points) all helped.
The Panthers scored 12 straight points for a 31-16 lead late in the second quarter. Seton Keough cut the lead to 42-35 on two free throws from Achiri Ade (13 points) with 5:51 left, but St. Frances scored the game's final nine points.
Rebounding helped St. Frances set the tone for the fourth quarter on its first possession. That's when the Panthers got five offensive rebounds and four shots, which eventually led to two free throws by Hutchen. They needed to slow Ade (10 rebounds) and Liz Brown (12 points, 12 rebounds) on the boards, and the Panthers did just enough of that.
"I think our rebounding was very good," St. Frances coach Jerome Shelton said. "We had [to do] a good job around the basket tonight."
The Panthers held the Gators to four points in the second quarter and two in the fourth, often playing good defense. The combination of the defense, intensity and timely rebounding made the difference.
"It was just basic basketball," Hutchen said. "You've got to want the ball more than they do. We came out tonight and really wanted it."
SF-Harmon 8, Hawkes 8, Britt 4, Evans 11, Hutchen 12, Dukes 8. Totals: 19 9-13 51.
SK-Harrison 2, Singletary 8, Ade 13, Brown 12. Totals 14 6-8 35. Half: SF, 31-18.