Scouting report: Girls basketball state semifinals

Class 2A: Liberty-Gwynn Park, Digital Harbor-Fallston

1A: Dunbar-Smithsburg, Joppatowne-Mardela

March 12, 2010|By Katherine Dunn

Girls basketball state semifinals

(All games at UMBC's

RAC Arena)

TODAY Class 2A Liberty (19-6) vs. Gwynn Park (20-3)
Time: 3 p.m.

Outlook: Only the third Carroll County team to reach the state semifinals in 26 years, the Lions are in for the first time since 1983 and are looking for their first crown and the county's third. Balanced in scoring and height, with four 5-11 starters, the Lions are led by G Maggie McCormick (16 ppg) and F Shelby Nemecek (10.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg). The Yellow Jackets, going after their fifth state title and their first since 2004, are fairly balanced as well, although 6-2 C Ciara Washington (14 ppg, 12 rpg) can dominate inside, shooting 60 percent from the field.

No. 3 Digital Harbor (19-5) vs. Fallston (18-5)
Time: 5 p.m.

Outlook: This semifinal offers a clash of 2009 state champs. Digital Harbor won in Class 1A last year and the Cougars in 3A. The Rams beat defending 2A champ City in the regional final. Additionally, the game features two of the area's best players in All-Metro forwards Asia Logan and Jess Harlee. Logan leads the Rams with averages of 15 points and 14 rebounds while Harlee, who has been back for just seven games after a knee injury, averages 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Rams have more strength overall, but the Cougars came in as similar underdogs in last year's title game.

Class 1A Dunbar (18-5) vs. Smithsburg (20-3)
Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: These two teams have a history in the state tournament, with the Poets winning the last of their four straight championships over the Leopards in 2003. That was the last time either team was in the tournament. They return with young squads that appear similarly balanced. About statistically even in points scored, points allowed and rebounds, each has a solid center and a high-scoring 5-9 swing player - 6-3 Oma-ah Tayong (8.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and Michelle Wright (18.8 ppg) for Dunbar and 6-1 Sara Rishell (7.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and Katie Sprecher (15.5 ppg) for Smithsburg.

No. 13 Joppatowne (24-2) vs. Mardela (26-2)
Time: 9 p.m.

Outlook: Each team rolled into the state tournament in search of its first state title. Mardela is riding a 19-game winning streak, and the Mariners are on a 16-game run. Blending in three transfers, the Mariners have become a more inside-outside team, although they're still powered by their backcourt: 5-4 Zameria Jones (17.3 ppg) and 5-10 Brittany Thornton (10.2 ppg). The Warriors have a little more height inside with 6-0 C Aleisha Hobbs ( 11.7 ppg, 15.0 rpg) and 5-11 F-G Taylor Siggers (16.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg). The Mariners will have to be tough on the boards because Mardela averages 40 rebounds to their 28.

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