For the Trojans, 50 is nice, but 52 is the goal

March 3, 2012

No. 3 Gaithersburg scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to erase a one-point halftime deficit in a 53-45 win over Northwest in Saturday’s Maryland 4A West final at Blair. The Trojans’ 50th straight win clinched their third straight state tournament berth.

Junior Deja Rollins scored seven straight points after halftime and Gaithersburg (25-0) never trailed again.

“I just told the ladies to have fun and do what we do — be aggressive and attack,” said Coach Adrian McDaniel, whose team has not lost since the 2010 4A title game.

Senior Colleen Marshall finished with a team-high 16 points, while senior Jackie Jackson added 11 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Trojans advance to a Thursday state semifinal at UMBC against North region champ Poly — a matchup of unbeaten squads.

“We’re going to get 52 [consecutive wins] — that’s our goal,” said Marshall after the team pulled within two victories of a second straight state title. “Fifty is nice, but it’s not good enough.”

Senior Carla Batchelor had a game-high 17 points to pace Northwest (20-5), which fell to Gaithersburg for the third time this season.

PRINCESS ANNE 57, POTOMAC (Va.) 42: Trailing by 21 at the half, the 10th-ranked Panthers cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 11 midway through the third quarter but then went into an offensive lull in falling to the defending state champion in a Virginia AAA quarterfinal Saturday at Robinson.

Potomac (25-3) went from the 4-minute, 15-second mark of the third quarter to the 3:24 mark of the fourth quarter without a field goal, and the Virginia Beach school made 13 of 14 free throws in the final 1:52 after the Panthers had pulled to within nine.

“If there’s one thing we probably wouldn’t have to worry about, it’s our scoring,” first-year Potomac Coach Tiffany Jenkins said. “That’s the one thing that really killed us tonight. We couldn’t hit a bucket to save our lives.”

Potomac missed 40 of 56 field goal attempts and got out-rebounded, 42-26. Senior guard Te’Shya Heslip led the Panthers with 12 points and six steals. Radford signee Aisha Foy scored 24 points for Princess Anne (26-3), including six three-pointers.

WOODGROVE 55, J. MONROE 52: The second-year Wolverines ensured the best season in the school’s short history will continue, advancing to the Virginia AA Division 3 semifinals with the win Saturday at VCU’s Siegel Center in Richmond.

Woodgrove (25-4) will face Robert E. Lee-Staunton on Tuesday back at VCU.

“Our defense is our pride and joy,” said Wolverines Coach Kevin Copley, whose team used several looks to slow Yellow Jackets senior Keyontae Williams. “Today we hit some big shots, but when we needed to get a stop, our defense stepped up.”

Sarah Hardison and Linsey Fagan each scored 12 points, Stephanie Purnell added eight and 16 rebounds and Maggie Buxton finished with nine points and 12 boards for a team without a senior on its roster.

“Our ultimate goal before the season was to get down [to Richmond], and we’ve done that,” Copley said. “We just want to be here for two more games.”

G. MASON 66, SUSSEX 36: The Mustangs used their size and athleticism to overwhelm Sussex Central in a Virginia A Division 2 quarterfinal at VCU’s Siegel Center in Richmond.

After a slow start in the first quarter, junior forward Stephanie Cheney hit a three-pointer to start the second quarter and George Mason (24-5) rolled from there.

A five-point lead turned into a 19-point advantage at halftime behind Cheney, who scored the first seven points of the second quarter, and Lauren Kane (23 points).

“We did come out kind of slow. We didn’t have that much information on them, didn’t have a feel of what was going to happen,” Cheney said. “Once I hit that, it let everyone open up. We felt more comfortable and knew we can go outside, inside, and we had a dominant feel at that point.”

The 6-foot Cheney, who averages 17.3 points per game, created mismatches both inside and out against Sussex Central (17-5), racking up 23 points and nine rebounds to lead Mason back to the state semifinals. The Mustangs will face Glenvar on Thursday night at the Siegel Center.

PAUL VI CATHOLIC 67, LIBERTY CHRISTIAN 45: Ariana Freeman and Marlena Tremba each scored 25 points as the Panthers (23-10) won their sixth straight Virginia independent schools championship in Richmond.

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