Patterson Mill's Rachel Eberius tries to get around a… (Nicole Munchel | Aegis staff,…)
Making a trip to the state basketball semifinals in just their fourth year as a varsity program was a good start for the Patterson Mill girls. The Huskies, however, will have to wait a while to play for their first state title.
The Huskies trailed by just five points in Friday's state Class 2A semifinal at UMBC's RAC Arena, before defending champion Calvert finished them off with a 10-point run in the last six minutes to ensure a 42-31 Cavaliers victory.
Calvert (25-1) advances to meet No. 14 Century — a 47-20 winner over Owings Mills in Friday's other semifinal — for the championship Saturday at 1 p.m. at UMBC.
The Huskies (20-6) had won 12 straight games, including a regional semifinal upset of Joppatowne, to get to the semifinals, but they committed too many turnovers and grabbed too few offensive rebounds to stay with the Cavaliers. Still, coach Joyce Jenkins said holding a team that averages 72.8 points to just 42 was an accomplishment.
"I told the girls first thing when I walked in the locker room, I said, 'Please be proud,'" Jenkins said. "We've set standards at Patterson Mill going from three wins to where we are right now."
The Cavaliers didn't look like the same team that beat No. 6 Glenelg in the regional final, as they struggled offensively, especially early. Their defense made most of the difference as they took advantage of 28 Patterson Mill turnovers, scoring 23 points off of them. They also scored 11 points on putbacks while the Huskies didn't get a single second-chance bucket.
Late in the third quarter, the Huskies started to make a run when Lauren West hit a 3-pointer and added two more points on a feed from Qalea Ismail to pull within 25-22 with 2:57 left in the period. A missed layup and two missed free throws kept the Huskies from taking their first lead since 1-0. What could have been a 26-25 Patterson Mill lead instead became a 28-22 deficit after Calvert's Rachel Loube drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
"I just think back if I would have made that layup, it would have just been a one-point game and it could have been a whole different tempo," said Huskies forward Morgan Golec, who scored a game-high 14 points and added seven rebounds. "Maybe they wouldn't have gotten that buzzer-beater and we would have still had the momentum to keep going."
The Huskies weren't out of it yet. Ismail's runner cut the lead to 30-25 with 5:41 remaining in the game, but the Cavaliers reeled off the next 10 points. Tiara Lester's 10-footer boosted Calvert to 40-25 lead with 1:49 to go.
"We saw they were getting closer and our lead was going down," said guard Alexis Smith, who led Calvert with 13 points. "We had to pick it up. We didn't want them to get closer, because then anything can happen."
C—Loube 10, Weems 7, Lester 5, Collins 2, Smith 13, Thomas 5. Totals 17 7-12 42.
P—Lund 3, Golec 14, West 5, Ismail 9. Totals 10 10-18 31.
Half: C, 20-14.