Hopkins lifts South River girls over Meade in 4A East semifinal

March 03, 2011|By Mike Frainie, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Aleeyah Hopkins is more of an inside threat than she is an outside shooter. At least she was until Thursday night.

Hopkins, a power forward, hit the winning shot on a three-pointer with one second left on the shot clock and three seconds left in the game to lift visiting South River over No. 10 Meade( 19-6), 47-44, in the Class 4A East semifinals.

The Seahawks (18-6) will play at top-seeded North Point, which defeated Broadneck in the other semifinal, at 6 p.m. Saturday in the regional championship game.

With the game tied at 44, a Meade player tipped the ball out of bounds, allowing Seahawks coach Mike Zivic to call a timeout with 5.9 seconds left. After some confusion, the officials determined that South River would in-bound the ball to the left of their basket with 1 second left on the shot clock.

When the ball was inbounded, Hopkins found an open spot just across the three-point line. She squared her shoulders and launched the ball, which dropped unobstructed through the hoop.

"I'm a streaky shooter," said Hopkins, a junior. "I've learned that you have to have confidence in your shot. When I let it go, it felt pretty good. I'm a power forward who doesn't really shot threes, but it sure felt great when I saw it go in."

Zivic said that even though the play wasn't called for Hopkins, he was glad she got the ball.

"We had a play set where we'd try a pick across the middle, but Leeyah was open," said Zivic. "She got off a great shot, and it went in. She a rhythm shooter and she was in a rhythm."

The Seahawks never trailed until Jamie McKeither made two free throws with 1:08 left to put the Mustangs ahead, but Hopkins was fouled and made one of two free-throws to re-tie the game and set up her heroics.

Now South River, which split with Meade this season, will have to play North Point on the road. South River will be an underdog there, too, but senior guard Kailee Knight feels the Hawks have a chance.

"We know it's going to be hard," said Knight, "but we need to take the energy from this game and build on that. I think we can do that."

Class 4A East semifinal

South River 47, Meade 44

SOUTH RIVER Hagins 13, McKinney 11, Hopkins 12, Bolden 8, Bresnahan 2, Knight 1. Totals: 16 9-13 47.

MEADE – McKeither 14, Bailey 17, Young 4, Witty 2, Williams 4, Pressley 3. Totals: 15 14-19 44. Halftime, SR, 21-20.

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