No. 2 Aberdeen girls let 3A state title slip away

March 12, 2011|By Jeff Seidel, Special To The Baltimore Sun

Aberdeen is going to look back at Saturday's Class 3A state title game as one that slipped away.

The second-ranked Eagles took the lead in the final minute but they turned the ball over three times, missed a few game-tying shots and watched Frederick score the game's final six points to capture a 76-71 victory at UMBC's RAC Arena.

Aberdeen ran into trouble when guards Jimmia McClucksey fouled out with 41 seconds left in the fourth period after scoring 13 points. Point guard Lakeia Hayden (seven assists) fouled out earlier.

"The last two minutes, with two of our top players fouling out changed the dynamic," said Aberdeen coach Stacy Liles. "Keia's our point guard and not having her out there — she's the one who controls the tempo — hurt."

Frederick gave Aberdeen trouble throughout the game with its pressing defense. The Cadets (22-4) forced 28 turnovers and scored 27 off of them.

"Pressure, pressure without our guards," said Liles. "One thing we said tonight. You're going to protect the ball. If we don't protect it, unfortunately it's going to hurt us, and that's exactly what it did."

 The troubles began after TK Fowlkes made a free throw with 41.1 seconds left that gave Aberdeen (23-2) a 71-70 lead. The Eagles then were called for a lane violation on the second shot, giving the ball back to Frederick.

Lynasia Frazier (19 points) made one of two free throws to tie the game with 41 seconds left.

Aberdeen then turned the ball over on two straight possessions. The Eagles first got the ball with 28.4 seconds left and no shot clock and could have run time down.

But the first turnover led to two free throws from Jazmin Tolson, giving Frederick a 73-71 lead with 21.8 seconds left. The Eagles turned it over a second time on the ensuing inbounds pass, which led to a Lauren Tolson free throw with 17.4 seconds remaining.

Aberdeen called timeout with 12 seconds left before missing two three-pointers. Tolson then sealed the victory with two free throws with 0.7 seconds left.

The Eagles, who, like Frederick, were making their first state title game appearance, wasted a great effort from 6-foot-3 sophomore center Bri Jones. She finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.

But she wasn't much of a factor in the fourth quarter. Jones, who made 12 of 16 from the field and was unstoppable at times, scored just three in the final period.

A- Alleyne 12, McClucksey 13, Stewart 7, Hayden 2, Fowlkes 10, Jones 27. Totals: 27 14-22 71.

F- Barnes 2, J. Tolson 8, Johnson 16, L. Tolson 24, Dotson, 5, Frazier 19, Dyson 2. Totals: 26 20-29 76. Half: F, 34-30

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