Georgetown Visitation 66, Sidwell Friends 39

A battle with the lingering effects of mononucleosis kept Georgetown Visitation's Mary Veith from starting yesterday's game against Sidwell Friends, but the sophomore guard played a crucial role in finishing off the Quakers.

Veith, in just her second game back after missing 10 due to the illness, scored all of her 11 points in the second half, including nine in the fourth quarter, as Visitation roared out of halftime to defeat Sidwell, 66-39, in an Independent School League AA game. The Cubs outscored the Quakers 42-18 after the break to give Coach Mike McCarthy his first victory over Sidwell in his eight years at Visitation.

"That second half was the best half of basketball we've played all year," said McCarthy, whose team improved to 15-2, 4-0.

Sidwell (10-3, 4-2) looked as if it might make a run when freshman guard Steffi Renninger made a three-pointer with 4 minutes 23 seconds left to cut the Cubs' lead to 46-37. Visitation senior Shannon Mertz answered with a three-point play, however, and Veith followed with a series of big plays that belied her 5-foot-7 frame.

First, she willed her way between two bigger Sidwell players to retrieve an offensive rebound and score despite a foul. After she made the bonus free throw, she created a turnover by knocking the ball to senior Ebone Gaskins (11 points). Gaskins then gave the ball back to Veith, who drove and scored on a pull-up jumper.

"Mary played the other night for the first time and was sporadic, but tonight we went with her," McCarthy said. "She's just a tough player."

Veith's final flurry was set up by the dominant play of Mertz and senior forward Sefi Adasi (game-high 20 points, 10 rebounds). The tandem combined for 36 points and 18 rebounds and contained Nana Meriwether, Sidwell's standout center. Meriwether, who entered averaging 23.8 points per game, scored 16.

"Sefi and Shannon, I'll put those two against any two in the city," McCarthy said.

Sidwell, which had not played since Jan. 9, showed obvious signs of rust. The Quakers committed 30 turnovers, and took the lead only once, 26-25, when Meriwether scored five points in the first minute of the third quarter.