Despite running a full-court press for the entire second half and pushing to erase a 14-point halftime deficit, the New Town girls basketball team never ran out of energy against Southern Garrett.
"We've been running all season," said New Town senior Tiana Davis, who led New Town with eight rebounds.
But the Titans (21-6) did run out of time.
Southern (22-4) defeated New Town, 52-47, for the Class 1A state championship Saturday evening at Towson's SECU Arena.
The Rams jumped out to a 6-0 lead, and New Town did not score until junior Destiney Taylor-Betts' (10 points, five steals) layup almost five minutes into the game. By halftime the Rams' lead was 30-16.
"We didn't come out and play defense like we expected to," New Town coach Gena Young said. "We're definitely going to work on defense next year, rebounding and boxing out. Those little things hurt us."
But the Titans hustled its way back to a 40-35 deficit by the end of the third quarter when junior Sydney Hines (17 points, six rebounds) connected on a breakaway layup.
"We just had to stay positive and basically just step it up on defense because we were really lazy," Young said.
In the fourth quarter, New Town continued to battle, making it a one-possession game at 46-43 with four minutes left after a free throw and field goal by junior Maraiyah Smith (seven points). But Southern freshman Kamrin Weimer (12 points) hit the back-breaking 3-pointer with 1:43 left.
"Our size beat them, obviously," Southern Garrett coach Kambrie Bosley said. "We knew to pound it inside … We're going to throw it inside and try to win. New Town shot the ball a little better than I thought they would from the outside. We tried to pack it in a little bit and they hit some shots, so we had to come out on them and then we just had to stop penetration."
Southern outrebounded New Town, 38-27, led by sophomore center Lauren Francillon's 13, and hit 13 of 19 free throw attempts, compared to New Town's 5 of 13.
The 6-foot-2 Francillon also scored 15 points. Senior Alicia Roth led the Rams with 17 points.
It was New Town's first trip to the state finals, while Southern Garrett previously won the state championship in 2004 and 2007.
Southern-Garrett 52, New Town 47
NT— Hines 17, Taylor-Betts 10, Taylor 9, Smith 7, Davis 4
S— Garrett: Roth 17, Francillon 15, Weimer 12, Tobery 6, Bosley 2
Half: Southern – Garrett 30-16Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun