Susan South had 13 points and seven rebounds to lead a second-half charge as McLean erased a 15-point halftime deficit and beat Madison, 54-49, last night in a Virginia AAA Great Falls District girls basketball contest at Madison.
McLean (9-3, 4-1 in the district) extended its win streak to seven games as South, a 6-foot junior forward, scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds. As important as her points and rebounds was her contribution in the Highlanders' man-to-man defense that forced 15 second-half turnovers. Madison (8-4, 3-2), losers of two straight in the district, took just 12 shots in the second half, one fewer than McLean (13 for 21) made.
"They scored 20 points on us in the first quarter and we came into the game giving up 36," McLean Coach Fred Priester said. "I knew the defense would come around but I knew that if we didn't go out and try and create something defensively we weren't going to cut into the lead."
"They just overplayed and blocked the passing lanes," Madison Coach Pat Deegan said, "and we just didn't make contact on setting our screens and didn't handle the ball well."
Madison made 14 of 32 shots in the opening half and McLean made just seven of 23. But McLean scored 12 of the first 14 second-half points to cut a 32-17 halftime deficit to 34-29. South had a pair of baskets and Sheila O'Brien had a key rebound to start a fast break and made a turnaround jumper.
The Warhawks led for the rest of the third quarter, but McLean forward Mary Chaney's steal resulted in a pair of free throws that tied the game with 7:22 to play. Madison tied the game once more, but South's jumper gave the Highlanders a 41-39 lead with 5:04 to play.
Baskets by O'Brien (nine points) and Kristin Miller (10 points) pushed the McLean lead to 45-40. The Warhawks cut the lead to 47-45 when Kendra Gahagan (10 points) made two free throws at the 1:07 mark.
South made one of two free throws and Chaney, who grabbed the rebound, was fouled and converted both free throws for a 52-47 lead with 52 seconds left. Gahagan scored quickly to cut the lead to three, but South made two free throws with 28 seconds to play.