Hutchen Guides Panthers To Top Seed In Iaam A Playoffs

Girls Basketball No. 1 St. Frances 67, No. 3 Spalding 55

February 05, 2010|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special To The Baltimore Sun

St. Frances coach Jerome Shelton wanted his team to head into next week's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference playoffs with some momentum. Briana Hutchen helped her coach get his wish.

Hutchen scored 10 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter as the No. 1 Panthers locked up the top seed in the tournament with a 67-55 victory over No. 3 Archbishop Spalding on Thursday night.

St. Frances (20-3, 11-1) enters the A Conference playoffs with the only first-round bye. The Panthers are scheduled to host the winner of the Roland Park-McDonogh game Thursday night. Spalding (19-4, 9-3) will be the No. 2 seed and hosts Institute of Notre Dame on Tuesday night - weather permitting.

Hutchen, who also finished with 17 rebounds, scored eight points in the final 2:11 to help host St. Frances pull away. The Panthers outscored the Cavaliers 14-5 in the game's final 3:22.

"We wanted to go out on top," Hutchen said. "I think [getting the top seed] just motivated us more."

Shatyra Hawkes (13 points) and Deanna Harmon (13 points) also sparked the St. Frances offense, which rebounded from a slow start. Spalding made eight of its first 10 shots en route to a 21-16 lead after the first quarter, but the Panthers didn't panic.

"We just want to compete on every possession," Shelton said. "We've been playing well, but we're not getting ahead of ourselves."

St. Frances bounced back and took a 34-31 halftime lead, and the game stayed close until the final minutes.

SP-Freeland 2, Makins 2, Swinson 12, Chestnut 2, Curtis 9, Morrison 16, Epps 6, Calhoun 6. Totals: 23 7-13 55.

SF-Hawkes 13, Harmon 13, Hutchen 25, Britt 8, Dukes 8. Totals: 25 14-15 67. Half: SF, 34-31.

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