Surrattsville Doomed by Foul Trouble in 50-41 Loss to Digital Harbor in Maryland 1A Final

Surrattsville guard Chanae Shorter is called for a charge as she brings the ball upcourt. She later fouled out.
Surrattsville guard Chanae Shorter is called for a charge as she brings the ball upcourt. She later fouled out. (By Mark Gail -- The Washington Post)
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By Katie Carrera
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 15, 2009

CATONSVILLE, Md., March 14 -- The pass slipped through Chanae Shorter's hands, ricocheted off the toe of her shiny, green shoe and rolled toward the baseline. The Surrattsville guard dove for the ball and instead picked up her fifth foul.

More than four minutes remained in the Maryland 1A final as Shorter, one of the Hornets' leading scorers, buried her face in her jersey. She wasn't the only Hornet with foul trouble Saturday night -- Digital Harbor scored 24 points at the free throw line en route to a 50-41 win at UMBC's RAC Arena.

"Today our defense just wasn't as good as it was in the past," said Surrattsville forward Endia Hill, who had a team-high 22 points. "We gave up so many unnecessary fouls and that basically killed us in the end."

No. 20 Surrattsville (22-4) trailed the entire game but drew to within one point late in the game. But the Hornets simply couldn't stay out of foul trouble, and Digital Harbor (25-3) made them pay, scoring 10 points in the final two minutes, eight on free throws.

In addition to capitalizing at the line, Digital Harbor left no gaps for Shorter to exploit as it held one of the Hornets' leading scorers to just five points.

"I think I kind of stopped myself," Shorter said. "I just had an off game."

Although the Hornets limited Digital Harbor to only 12 field goals, the lack of discipline plagued them from the beginning -- Shorter and Mallory Johnson both had three fouls by halftime. When given the opportunity for easy points, Digital Harbor rarely missed. Especially key forward Asia Logan, who missed on just one attempt as 15 of her 21 points came from the line.

"If we could've taken those 10 points off the free throw line maybe it's a one-point game," Surrattsville Coach Demario Newman said.

The Hornets trailed by 11 at the half but BreAnna Gross and Hill led a raucous comeback rally with 17 points in the second half to cut the lead to one, before foul trouble did them in.

"I don't think it was anything they did," Hill said. "We just had so many fouls and put them on the line too many times."

Digital Harbor 50, No. 20 Surrattsville 41 Third Time's Not the Charm: This was Surrattsville's third consecutive trip to the state tournament but first-ever finals appearance. The Hornets have never won a title. Remember Me? The Hornets ended their season the same way as it began -- with a loss to Digital Harbor. The two teams met on Dec. 8 when the Rams won, 54-43.

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