With her team scrapping all over the court, hoping somebody would come to the fore, Bowie point guard Geri Vartabedian dribbled the length of the court, splitting Parkdale's pressure defense to score two layups and give the Bulldogs a 70-68 Maryland Class AA Region III basketball playoff victory last night at Bowie.

Bowie (15-6) will play Largo in a regional semifinal later this week at Prince George's Community College.

After Parkdale's regular scoring leader Lisa Allen fouled out midway through the third period with 10 points, the taller Bulldogs appeared to have the upper hand. But Parkdale (9-10), with Stephanie Love scoring 15 points and Karen Andes 16, never stopped surging forward, taking the game down to the wire.

"Our girls had a lot of heart and did the things that I asked them to do," said Parkdale Coach Skip Davis. "I knew we couldn't beat them on the boards, but we tried to attack them from the wing and it worked well . . . I'm only losing one player; we'll be back next year."

Bowie is also a young team with only one senior. During the final three minutes the Bulldogs' inexperience against pressure nearly cost them what should have been an easy victory considering the size differential.

"I think when 31 {Allen} fouled out, our players sort of relaxed and their other girls just picked up the slack," said Bowie Coach Ted Green. "We just didn't protect the ball in the end, but when we needed it, Geri came through."

After 6-foot-2 center Dawn Utara (game-high 19 points) scored on a follow with 2:29 remaining to give Bowie a 66-59 lead, Parkdale rallied with its hustling defense, narrowing it to 66-64 on a three-point play by Love.

After Bowie point guard Monica Bailey (16 points) was called for charging, Parkdale tied at 66 on a pair of free throws by Andes at 1:15.

Then Vartabedian (18 points) took over, snagging a rebound off a Parkdale miss and driving the length of the floor to score in traffic and give Bowie a 68-66 advantage at :45. But Love came back with a turnaround off the glass from the corner to knot it again.

Vartebedian again raced through the Panthers defense to put Bowie ahead with 31 seconds to go.

At :15, Vartebedian was sent to the line for a one-and-one. Her leadoff try missed, but Nicole Mould rebounded as time expired.