Roland Park's Daisy Alaeze drives to the basket against… (Baltimore Sun photo by Steve…)
Joppatowne forward Shakara Head put the post moves on No. 7 South River quite a few times in Monday night's Vernon Brown Memorial Tournament at Fallston, but her final basket came on an open shot that all but sealed a 60-55 victory for the No. 3 Mariners girls basketball team.
TroiQuay Malloy found Head all alone under the basket for an easy layup and a 56-53 lead with 51 seconds left.
"Every time I get [inside], especially in a big game, I feel my team needs me, so I try to make big things happen," said Head, who finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
After Head boosted the Mariners' lead to three, Zameria Jones stole the ball and converted the front end of a one-and-one. Malloy then hit two more free throws for a 59-53 lead with 12.8 seconds to go.
In the fourth quarter, the Mariners (6-0) threw the Seahawks off their game when they switched to a quick man-to-man defense and ran up a couple of six-point leads in the first four minutes, but South River tied it at 53 with a six-point run that included four of Domonique Hagins' 16 points and two free throws from Aleeyah Hopkins.
Malloy then grabbed a steal and Head made a move to the basket but was fouled. She hit one free throw to put the Mariners ahead for good at 54-53 before she hit the open layup.
Hagins said the Seahawks were a little slow to adjust to Head's moves.
"It seemed like our posts picked up what she was doing late in the game," Hagins said. "She did have a pretty good move. She would try to post up and she would fade back and our post players wouldn't fade back with her, so they would get the ball over."
South River (6-2) was able to match the Mariners' quickness and the Seahawks kept pace at the free-throw line, hitting 21 of 24.
Joppatowne will meet No. 9 Roland Park — which rallied from nine points down at the half to beat Fallston, 47-42 — for the tournament's Orange Division title tonight at 7, while the Seahawks will play Fallston in the consolation game at 5.
The Reds (7-3) trailed 40-39 with 3:13 to go after Fallston's Alyssa March hit a hook shot, but Beth Kelly hit six free throws and Daisy Alaeze added two to give Roland Park the edge over the Cougars (6-2).
Kelly, a 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard, finished with 17 points, including the six free throws, a three-pointer and two assists in the fourth quarter.
"Beth was the key," Roland Park coach Scott Buckley said. "I've actually been on her all year to shoot the ball more. This is probably the first game where she looked for her offense a little more than normal, but she made big foul shots down the stretch and controlled the game when we needed it."
In the White Division, Aberdeen sophomore center Bri Jones had a triple double — 19 points, 24 rebounds and 11 blocks — in leading the No. 6 Eagles (6-0) to a 71-26 romp over Bel Air (3-5). The Eagles will play Edgewood (5-2), a 46-26 winner over Patterson Mill (1-6), in the division final today at 3.
SR—Bolden 9, Hagins 16, Hopkins 6, Martin 2, Knight 4, J.Koralick 1, McKinney 14, Ortman 3. Totals 16 21-24 55.
J—Z.Jones 12, Head 22, Lewis-Orr 3, Patton-Hill 2, Malloy 14, Scott 5, Tourville 2. Totals 21 15-24 60. Half: SR, 34-30.
RP—Reese 2, Davis 5, Alaeze 11, Edwards 12, Kelly 17. Totals 15 12-15 47.
F—R.Holehouse 18, Mattingly 6, March 8, Curran 4, Nosek 2, A.Holehouse 2, Harmon 2. Totals 17 7-9 42. Half: RP, 22-13.