Holy Cross, St. Anthony's and Holy Names breezed to easy victories while Seneca Valley needed a spectacular 14-point fourth quarter from Connie Justice to come from behind and win in the first round of the IAABO Girls Invitational Christmas Tournament last night at De Matha.
Justice, a 5-6 senior guard, scored all but two of Seneca Valley's fourthquarter points to give the Screaming Eagles a 43-38 victory over Mount Hebron.
Holy Cross totally dominated Douglass in every phase and won going away, 76-32. Holy Names easily thrashed Lackey, 57-39, and St. Anthony's disposed of West Springfield, 60-37.
Holy Names (5-0) will face St. Anthony's (8-1) in a semifinal game at 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday at Largo. Seneca Valley (2-2) faces Holy Cross (6-0) in the other semifinal at 8. Lackey plays West Springfield at 3:30 and Mount Hebron meets Douglass at 5 in the consolation bracket.
Justice brought Seneca Valley back from an early three-point deficit. Her 15-foot jumper from the top of the key tied the game at 37 for the last time with 1:45 to play. She followed with two free throws 20 seconds later and a long jump shot to give the Screaming Eagles a 41-37 advantage with 45 seconds left.
Holy Cross' Lori Marsden scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Tartans raced to a 32-4 lead after one period. All-Met Chrissy Reese added seven points and collected 10 rebounds in the first eight minutes.
Holy Cross ran off two 12-0 spurts to put the game totally out of reach. The second and third teams for Holy Cross were just as effective, handcuffing Douglass by causing numerous turnovers. Fourteen of the 15 Holy Cross players scored.
Karla Green dropped in eight of her game high of 18 points in the opening period to stake Holy Names to a 20-11 advantage en route to its decision over Lackey.
Cheryl Armstrong hit six points in the first eight minutes as St. Anthony's cruised past West Springfield.
West springfield couldn't handle the quick full-court pressure of the Tonies. St. Anthony's guards Taquia Brittingham and Crystal Woodard forced one turnover after another and St. Anthony's outscored West Springfield, 16-6, to take a commanding 30-16 lead at intermission.
Woodard scored three baskets on breakaways while Brittingham and Diane Toliver added four points each in the second period.
West Springfield played even worse in the third quarter. The Virginia AAA Northern District champion sank only one of its first nine fieldgoal tries and committed six turnovers, and the opportunistic Tonies stretched their advantage to 54-31 with 2:20 remaining in the quarter.
"We're playing pretty well right now," said Barbara Poulnot, St. Anthony's coach. "Crystal is running the show at point guard and everyone is playing good around her. Our threeguard offense and full-court press were very effective. We also did a good job on the boards."
Lackey's smaller Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champion Chargers couldn't handle the more aggressive Owls inside. Green, a 5-foot-8 junior, muscled her way inside for three more baskets in the second quarter to help Holy Names take a 33-11 lead at the half.