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Largo Unable To Stay With Fallston (26-0)

By Jeff Nelson
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, March 13, 2009

CATONSVILLE, Md., March 12 -- For a few minutes, the Largo Lions thought they would do it again. Another early deficit was being erased; another strong second half was underway.

This time, though, it didn't last.

The slow-starting Lions couldn't come back against undefeated Fallston, which captured an 80-65 win Thursday night in the Maryland 3A semifinals at UMBC's RAC Arena.

"It was the wrong day to start out slow," said Largo sophomore Brianey Winslow, referring to Fallston's leads of 19-10 after one quarter and 36-19 at halftime.

"We didn't make up for it," said sophomore Jessica Lyons, who added that rallies are "not always going to happen against good teams."

In Largo's previous game, the 3A South Region final against Wise, Lyons led her team back from a second-quarter deficit with a career-high 34 points. But on that day, Largo (23-4) was not facing a team with the talent or height of Fallston (26-0).

The Cougars' two post players -- 6-foot junior Jess Harlee and 6-2 junior Lindsay Garnett -- were the anchors in a 3-2 zone that stifled Largo's offense all night.

"There aren't big girls in the 3A in [Prince George's] County," Lions Coach Ayanna Ball-Ward said. "Us seeing big girls right now, it's not a surprise, but we have to alter shots. It's not like [we] can do [our] regular, comfortable things."

Largo also couldn't create any transition opportunities, because it had to work so hard for rebounds (a battle it lost, 51-34). Fallston, on the other hand, ran up and down the floor with outlet passes from Harlee, who had 26 points and 22 rebounds.

"We did turn it on in the third quarter, but it took too much out of us," Lyons said. "After that, we were burnt, and they kept on scoring the basket."

The Lions' top three scorers were all sophomores -- Lyons (17), Winslow (14) and Brittany Taylor (nine) -- so they took some solace after the game in just making the state semifinals.

"It's better than a lot of us expected," Lyons said."We went a lot further than we thought, but we wanted to go even further," Winslow said. "We wanted to be playing Saturday."

Fallston 80, No. 9 Largo 65 Up Next: Fallston will play tomorrow at 8 p.m. at UMBC against Paint Branch for the Maryland 3A championship. Return Trips? Only 11 of Largo's 65 points were scored by seniors and only 16 of Fallston's 80 points were scored by seniors.

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