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Aberdeen girls end Bel Air’s unbeaten basketball season, 56-48

Aberdeen's Cassandra Smith, shown in game action against Bel Air last month, scored 24 points Thursday night to lead the Eagles upset of the previously undefeated Bobcats.
Aberdeen's Cassandra Smith, shown in game action against Bel Air last month, scored 24 points Thursday night to lead the Eagles upset of the previously undefeated Bobcats.(Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

The undefeated season of the Bel Air girls basketball season came to an end Thursday on the road in Aberdeen.

The Eagles (6-5, 9-7), who led early, turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter to pull away and eventually win the UCBAC Chesapeake Division game, 56-48.

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The Bobcats (10-1, 15-1) gave it a good run late, but five points is as close as they could get over the final five minutes.

Bel Air’s first lead (10-9) came with 1:30 to play in the first quarter, but Aberdeen turned up the pressure and with a 9-0 run, led 18-10.

Jay Harden’s running buzzer-beating three sent the game to the second quarter with Aberdeen ahead, 18-13.

The Bobcats, highlighted by a Mackenzie Springer three, scored seven straight points to lead again, 20-18.

A technical foul assessed to Aberdeen coach Jimmia McCluskey was also part of the run. Maggi Hall made both free throws.

Aberdeen seemed energized by the penalty. The Eagles, if possible, turned up the defensive pressure even more. The effort led to 14 straight points. Amanda Bryant added her second three-pointer in the spurt, Lynnea Pugh added our four points and Cassandra Smith, who the Bobcats had no answer for, scored five of her game-high 24 points in the quarter.

“I told them, they had to come out strong. I don’t care when it happens, it has to turn up in the first half and it has to end at the fourth quarter,” Eagles coach McCluskey said. “Otherwise, they are good team, they will come back any time because they don’t give up. Regardless of whether their best player is in or their worst player is in, they don’t give up.”

Harden’s basket snapped game-changing the run, but the damage was done., 32-20. The score at half was 34-24.

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Coming out of the break, Smith scored five straight and the Eagles lead was its largest, 39-24, with 5:00 to play.

Three minutes later, Bel Air senior Hall went down awkwardly when trying to stop. The senior injured an ankle and was lost for the remainder of the game. She left with 13 points scored.

Despite missing Hall, the Bobcats trimmed the Aberdeen lead back to 10, 44-34, at the close of the quarter.

The Bobcats then watched point guard Harden leave the game midway into the fourth quarter for possible concussion issues.

Still, Bel Air was able to get within five, 44-39, 46-41, and 48-43, over the final five minutes but efforts to get any closer resulted in empty possessions or turnovers.

Aberdeen made 4-of-8 free throws in the quarter to stay ahead. Smith scored six and Tristyn Deveaux added four to finish with 12.

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Olivia Simon led the Bobcats with 16 points, 14 coming in the second half. “Early, it just came down to turnovers. We generated enough offense to be able to compete, but it came down to really just giving a great team extra chances and when you give extra chances to a great team, they should make you pay for it and they absolutely did that. They deserved to win this ball game,” Bobcats coach Calvin Skelton said.

Cougars wallop Huskies

Fallston (8-4, 13-7) rolled over host Patterson Mill (6-5, 9-9) for a 54-29 win in Chesapeake play Thursday.

Fallston won its fifth straight game while closing out division play.

Sophomore guard Julia Skinner led the Cougars with 15 points while senior Chantel Curry added 10 points and four assists.

Jillian Crawford added nine points and nine rebounds.

On the defensive end, Adrianna Mace and Lauren Gabranski each grabbed seven rebounds and scored six points for the Cougars.

Cobras fall

Susquehanna Division leading Harford Tech (11-2, 12-6) was beaten at Bo Manor (11-2, 13-4), 41-30, Thursday.

The loss created a tie atop the division.

Leading Tech, Alexa Baldwin had 11 points, three rebounds and two steals. Quren Santiago added seven points, five rebounds and eight steals.

Anyia Gibson (eight rebounds) and Kaitlyn Thacker (five rebounds) scored six points each.

Rams beat Tigers

Edgewood (6-7, 8-12) beat visiting Rising Sun (5-8, 8-9), 58-56, in overtime Thursday in Susquehanna play.

Sophomore Janice Rodriguez hit the game-winning shot at the end of overtime, finishing with eight points and five rebounds.

Senior Kathryn Rambo and sophomore Harmony Madu also had five rebounds apiece.

Junior McKayla Donovan hit a clutch shot in OT and hoisted seven rebounds, while Ariana Tilley led the team with 11 rebounds.

Senior Skylar Lewis posted a career-high 32 points and five steals. The Rams were down, 21-15, at halftime.

Warriors drop Panthers

Havre de Grace (8-5, 9-9) defeated visiting Perryville (0-11, 0-13), 58-23, Thursday in Susquehanna play.

Captains and seniors Hannah Koop and Tamia Clark provided competitive play on their ‘Senior Night.’ Koop led the Warriors with 16 points, eight assists, six rebounds, six steals and five blocks. Clark had four points, one assist, 10 rebounds, four steals and eight blocks.

“Koop and Clark are strong leaders, always encouraging and inspiring their teammates,” Warriors coach Lisa Koop said.

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