LaTonya McConico grabbed a tournament record 27 rebounds and helped her team force numerous mistakes as Friendly raced past Paint Branch, 52-39, in a first round afternoon game of the 15th annual IAABO girls invitational Christmas tournament yesterday at Prince George's Community College.
Mount Hebron also relied on a tenacious defensive effort to take LaReine out of the game early, jumping out to a 10-0 lead and coasting to a 50-29 triumph. In later first-round games, Seton used a 16-4 second-period burst to pull away from Coolidge and record a 56-44 decison. Vanessa Blair scored 18 points and collected 17 rebounds in igniting Largo past Springbrook, 54-41, in the final first round game last night.
In semifinal games Monday night, Friendly (5-0) will take on Mount Hebron (5-0) at 6, and Seton (5-1) will face Largo (4-1) at 8. In consolation games Monday, Paint Branch (3-4) will meet LaReine (2-3) at 2 and Coolidge (6-2) will play Springbrook (5-1) at 4.
Mount Hebron wasted no time taking control of its game with LaReine. Despite a height disadvantage, the quicker, more aggresive Vikings forced a handful of turnovers while holding the Royals scoreless on their first 12 possessions.
LaReine's play did not improve in the next period as the Vikings, led by Beltram, Amy Mallon (11 points), Alison McIntyre (10) and Justine Chaverini, kept up the pressure and scored often off transition and second-chance baskets. Another big run to open the second period enabled the Vikings to lead, 27-11, before settling for a 27-12 lead at intermission.
Mount Hebron substituted freely throughout but still led, 37-22, after three periods.
Friendly's domination came rather slowly. McConico's splendid rebounding and some key steals by backcourt mates Wanda Lanham and Lisa Butler kept Paint Branch from getting into the game.
The Panthers trailed only 8-7 in the first period but went more than four minutes without a point in the next quarter that all but took them out of the contest. McConico had seven points and Butler four to give the Patriots a 24-17 lead at intermission.
Coolidge had trouble stopping Seton's 6-1 Stephanie Gilmore (15 points, 11 rebounds) and 6-0 Alison Harris (16 points, nine rebounds), who scored often inside to finish off fast breaks or after pulling down offensive rebounds. Gilmore had five points and Zhoowan Jackson (eight) and Aimee Fellows (eight) each had two baskets during the big run that broke a 10-10 tie and gave the Roadrunners the lead for good.
Patricia Frost (20 points) and Corinne Carson (18) were the Colts' offense, accounting for all but six points. The seniors combined for 21 of their teams' next 25 points as Coolidge rallied to within ten points, 52-42, with two minutes to play.
Largo began pulling away from the Blue Devils midway in the first period, turning a one-point deficit into a 14-8 lead.
The Lions stretched their lead to 14 points before Katie Sterling had six of her 10 points in the final period as the Devils pulled within 47-39 with four minutes to play. But Blair converted a three-point play and Gwen Graves followed with a jumper and Largo was up, 52-39.