Seton Keough hosted St. Vincent Pallotti with a chance to pull ahead of them into fourth place in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference standings, but the Panthers have higher goals.
They made that statement when they blitzed the Gators in the second half and cruised to a 62-26 victory, after leading 24-15 at halftime.
“Me and my teammates have a new mindset, a new goal,” said senior Beverly Ogunrinde, who finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. “It’s like a new start for us. We are trying to go to the top and that is what we are going to do.”
Pallotti improved to 7-4 in the conference and Seton Keough dropped to 5-5.
Io Chaney had a complete game with nine points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals and post player Leah Whitehead came off the bench in relief of Ogunrinde and contributed nine points and three rebounds.
Taylor Bolden (eight points) and Jade Porter (seven points) led the Gators, who fell behind 23 -9 late in the second quarter, but rallied with back-to-back threes by Caitlyn Alley and Bolden, but Alexis Nolan’s free throw pushed the lead to 24-15 at halftime.
The second half was all Pallotti’s as the Gators struggled from beyond the three-point stripe, missing 10 of 11 in the third quarter.
Bolden canned the only trey of the quarter, while Ogunrinde took over inside with 10 points and six rebounds in the period.
“Sometimes we get off to a slow start, but once coach gets us to the same page, we fire up, so that’s what really kept us going,” said Ogunrinde, who will play at James Madison University next year. “We were playing as a team today. We were all on the same page. Everybody had the will to win.”
First-year coach Ron Hairston was impressed with his team’s energy.
“We turned the corner today with the kind of intensity and effort that I have been looking for from this team all year,” he said. “I’m excited and I’m proud of the way they stepped up in the second half.”
Earlier in the season the Panthers only defeated the Gators 54-43 at Pallotti.
“We didn’t take anything for granted this game,” Hairston said. “She (Coach Jody Powell) has a really good team and they are really young.”
The Gators have six freshmen and a pair of sophomores on the varsity roster.