Heading into Saturday’s Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference basketball semifinal against St. Vincent Pallotti, Roland Park forward Lindsey Edwards knew rebounding would be critical.
With three seconds left, Edwards got the biggest rebound of all, grabbing teammate Bailey Andrews’ missed free throw. Edwards held on, was quickly fouled and then hit one free throw to pad the No. 3 Reds' lead and secure a 50-46 victory.
They will meet No. 1 McDonogh in the IAAM A Conference final on Monday at 5 p.m. at Archbishop Spalding.
With the Reds (20-6) holding onto a 48-46 lead, the No. 5 Panthers fouled Bailey Andrews with 3.8 seconds left. She hit the first free throw, but missed the second, and Edwards grabbed the rebound. She was quickly fouled and hit the front end of the one-and-one with two seconds left.
“We just knew we needed to get that rebound,” Edwards said. “There was three seconds left, and I knew when that came off [the rim] that I needed to hold on tight for the remaining time.
“We knew we had to stay mentally tough and we were going to have to rebound,” she said. “They have great rebounders on that team and we were going to have get rebounds and stop them from making those tough shots.”
The Reds had their biggest lead of the game at seven late in the first half, but the Panthers cut it to 24-23 by the break thanks in part to their rebounding. They outrebounded the Reds, 40-34, in the game and forward Beverly Ogunrinde had 15 rebounds to go along with 16 points.
But Roland Park kept Pallotti (15-8) from getting many second chances, and their only senior Tatyana Carter, who had seven rebounds coming off the bench, was a key to defending Ogunrinde in the paint.
“She really caused some problems in there by playing behind Beverly and making Beverly take some tough shots and not be able to get to the rim,” Reds coach Scott Buckley said. “And then, once she shot it, Ty wasn’t going to let her get a second or third try. Huge minutes for her.”
Edwards, a second-team All-Metro forward last spring, led a Roland Park team effort with 16 points. She hit a 3-pointer and a spinner early in the third quarter that helped the Reds take the lead with 5:28 left.
Pallotti would cut the margin to two several times, but never took the lead. They finally tied it when Alexis Nolan finished a 3-point play and then added a free throw to tie the game, 46-46, with 39.9 seconds to go.
Ryan Holder’s runner with 26 second left proved to be the game winner.
“They were really physical with Beverly,” Panthers coach Rod Hairston said. “Beverly’s been great for us all year and she played well. We had some other people step up for us, Io Chaney (12 points) and Drew Arnett. I just think Roland Park beat us. They outplayed us today.”
Pallotti has never won an A Conference title, although it won back-to-back B Conference championships in 2006 and 2007.
No. 3 Roland Park 50, No. 5 Pallotti 46
P—Coleman 2, Chaney 12, Nolan 4, Ogunrinde 16, Eldridge 7, Arnett 5. Totals 15 14-22 46.
RP—Alexander 7, Edwards 16, Holder 4, Andrews 4, Clay 8, Johnson 3, Carter 4. Totals: 18 10-14 50.