Last year, Friendly came to Bowie riding a No. 1 girls basketball ranking before being surprised by the Bulldogs. Last night the Patriots sported the No. 8 spot and first place in the Prince George's 4A League but once again they were thwarted by the Bulldogs, 47-35.

Playing without leading rebounder and second-leading scorer Amy Ford, who was sick, Bowie (8-4, 6-3) nonetheless was in control from the opening tip. The Bulldogs led the entire way thanks to a menacing press and a newly installed man-to-man defense.

Junior guard Takiyah Jackson (16 points) and junior forward Becky Greenfield (15) scored 17 of Bowie's first-half points as the Bulldogs led 21-12 at intermission. The Bulldogs' fullcourt press forced numerous turnovers from Friendly, which dropped to 9-2, 7-2.

"It's our new thing now," Greenfield said of the press. "We wanted to do it and they let us. I think a lot of teams are going to be surprised by it because they think we're not fast enough for it."

Friendly had a horrendous first quarter due in large part to its inability to handle the press. The Patriots did not get off a shot until more than halfway through the quarter and did not score until junior forward Renee Owens (14 points) converted an offensive rebound with 2:07 left, making it 8-2.

"We just played flat from beginning to end," Patriots Coach Roy Dismuke said. "We didn't play the type of defense we're capable of playing and we shot poorly."

Still, Friendly moved within four as senior guard Angie Robinson hit a layup and then a three-pointer as time expired in the third quarter to narrow Bowie's lead to 29-25.

Friendly kept the deficit at four on two free throws by Chris Thorne with 5:33 to play but the Bulldogs reeled off 10 straight points capped by a 10-footer from Tanya Hudson, who scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half.

Friendly kept itself from drawing closer by shooting only eight of 22 from the free throw line and by forcing passes. Bowie, meanwhile, remained patient offensively, finding open shots from the perimeter.

"The guards took a lot of pressure off of Becky {Greenfield}," Bowie Coach Ted Green said. "They overplayed Becky. In the past our guards would shoot and they wouldn't fall. Tonight, they fell.

"We feel we can play with anyone. Last year we were young and played a {good} half with a lot of people. This year, we've played all tight games." B (8-4) -- Greenfield 15, Hudson 12, Jackson 16, Fowkes 2, Howard 2. Totals 22 3 47. F (9-2) -- Robinson 12, Owens 14, Nixon 5, Thorne 4, Cornnor 0. Totals 13 8 35.

Halftime: Bowie, 21-12.

Three-point goals: Friendly 1 (Robinson).