Using a crisp passing game and percentage shots, 17th-ranked Springbrook became the first Montgomery County girls basketball team in two years to defeat Rockville, handing the second-ranked Rams a 42-41 loss last night at Rockville.

"The game plan was to play {Debbie} Shockley {Rockville's top player} tough all over the court," said Springrook Coach Bill Wiley. "We zoned up the rest and we wanted to encourage the rest of their players to shoot. We had been working on a plan for the last couple of days."

Despite a 42-35 lead with about 22 seconds left, Springbrook's upset nearly fell through, as Rockville and Shockley geared up for one final run. Mimi McKelvie, who had just sunk two free throws to put the Blue Devils up by seven, was called for a two-shot technical six seconds later.

Shockley made those foul shots and reserve guard Jean Mandich hit one of two free throws to narrow it to 42-38.

But Rockville (6-1), putting on heavy full-court pressure, could not force a turnover, as the clock continued to roll. After a Springbrook miss, Shockley (21 points), who missed her first 10 three-point attempts, made one from 22 feet, but time ran out on the Rams.

Springbrook (7-2) was led in scoring by Katie Sterling (16 points) and Holly Joyce (12).

In the second period, Springbrook surged out to a 15-9 lead before succumbing to intense Rockville pressure, as the Rams went on an 8-1 run to lead, 17-16, on a power move by Felicia Jenkins inside.

With Rockville now playing harder and pressing all over the court, most teams might have faded just a bit. But the Blue Devils kept up their daunting defensive pressure to lead at the break, 20-19, on a jumper by McKelvie.