Seneca Valley stuns No. 7 Western, 62-60

Wolfe scores 29, sparks rally after Doves take 19-point lead

March 14, 2010|By Jeff Seidel | Special to The Baltimore Sun

Western did everything right for much of Saturday night's Class 3A state championship game against undefeated Seneca Valley. The Doves hit several long shots, played tough defense and took a 19-point lead midway through the third quarter.

But everything fell apart after that. Seneca Valley held No. 7 Western to only four baskets in the final 12 minutes, and Kelsey Wolfe scored 15 of her game-high 29 points as the Screaming Eagles stunned the Doves, 62-60, at UMBC's RAC Arena.

Western (18-7) caused Seneca Valley (27-0) lots of problems with its hustling, trapping pressure defense. The Doves also forced 14 turnovers in the first half, kept hitting outside shots and eventually took a 44-25 lead on a 3-pointer from UMBC-bound Amirah Tucker with 3:46 left in the third quarter.

But the Doves went cold after that. They had their chances to score and couldn't do it, watching as Seneca Valley rallied to take command.

Brielle Ward led Western with 15 points, and Ashle Craig and Jannah Tucker scored 13 each as the Doves kept their poise and continued to battle in the frustrating final minutes.

"They kept their composure the entire game," Western coach Tiffany Silver said. "They kept their discipline."

The Screaming Eagles scored 13 straight to cut the Western lead to 45-42 early in the fourth quarter. A little later, they got eight straight points to take a 55-52 lead with just under four minutes left and never trailed again.

The Virginia-bound Wolfe hurt Western by constantly driving to the basket and drawing fouls. She made 10 of 21 from the field and nine of 10 from the free-throw line. Audrey Cunningham (16 points) also sparked the rally, scoring 10 points down the stretch. Kianna Murphy helped with seven points and 15 rebounds.

Seneca Valley also threw Western's offense off a bit by applying more full-court pressure. That seemed to rush the Doves in the final minutes as they shot only 31 percent from the field (9-for-29) in the second half.

"Western played extremely well," Seneca Valley coach Todd Bumgardner said. "They were up for the challenge tonight. I've got to believe [this is] one of the most remarkable comebacks in state history."

W-Craig 13, Spence 5, Stevenson 1, A. Tucker 9, Alston 2, McKnight 2, J. Tucker 13, Ward 15. Totals: 22 9-17 60.

S-Wolfe 29, Cunningham 16, Bason 5, Rothert 5, Murphy 7. Totals: 21 14-20 62. Half: W, 31-21.

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