By Craig Clary, firstname.lastname@example.org
11:44 PM EST, March 9, 2012
Western Tech dominated on the inside and outside and took an early lead on Fort Hill and held on for a 54-51 victory in the Class 1A state semifinals Friday night at UMBC's RAC Arena.
The win propelled them to the state championship game against Dunbar Saturday at 6 p.m.
Senior Ateh Ade (15 points) had 24 of the Wolverines 44 rebounds, including 11 in the third quarter.
She grabbed 13 off the offensive glass.
"It was just all out hustle," said Ade, who added four blocked shots. "Every time I saw the ball I just tried to get it."
Jayde Duncan added seven rebounds and four blocked shots for the Wolverines (23-4), who were making their first trip to the state semifinals.
Sophomore guard Sydney Clopton (game-high 20 points) and senior guard Tyshay Montgomery (14 points, 3 assists) set the tone early with frequent penetration and they never relented.
"I just saw the lane was wide open," Montgomery said.
Clopton's drive led to a basket that gave the Wolverines a 6-4 lead with 4:07 left in the first period and they never trailed.
They opened up a 28-18 halftime lead and the closest the Sentinels (20-6) came was the three-point margin at the end when Alesha Jackson (11 points) hit a basket at the buzzer.
Alyssia Twigg led Fort Hill with 14 points.
Western Tech put the game away by making 10 free throws in the final period.
Clopton, who was 11 for 19 from the free throw line, made 5 of 7 down the stretch to salt away the game.
"Our speed and size benefited us all night," Western Tech coach Nolan Roe said. "We dominated the boards for the most part."