Bel Air upset second-seeded Parkville, 45-44, in the Class 3A regional girls basketball semifinals Thursday night.
The Bobcats (17-5) took a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter and survived a huge Parkville rally.
"The kids were getting frustrated," said Bel Air coach Phyllis Hemmes. "No matter what we did, we got called for traveling or a jump ball. They started pressing us and getting the turnovers."
Reserve forward Amy Sullivan scored four key points in the final minutes and center Dawn St. Clair hit two free throws that iced the victory. St. Clair led the Bobcats with 17 points and Sullivan added seven.
Early in the game, Bobcats guards Lisa Thomas and Stephanie Reynolds setthe tone for the game with a brisk tempo. Although Bel Air had balanced scoring, the Knights (16-5) needed time to set up shots for theirtwo offensive threats, senior guards Laurie Bender (20 points) and Joy Burns (18).
Thomas (nine points) opened the second half with a three-pointer. "That was the game-winner right there," said Hemmes. "Both teams had 18 baskets and eight free throws, but one of our baskets was that three-pointer."
The Bobcats were to meet top-seeded Catonsville for the regional title yesterday. The winner advances to the state final four at 3 or 5 p.m. Thursday at Catonsville Community College.
In Tuesday's other first-round game, fifth-seeded C. Milton Wright fell to Lansdowne, 53-47, in overtime.
The Mustangs (14-7) hit only six of 41 shots to fall behind 23-14 at halftime. In the second half, the Mustangs took the lead, 31-30, and stayed ahead untilthe final 20 seconds. Two turnovers helped the fourth-seeded Vikings(13-8) tie the game at 42.
In the three-minute overtime period, the Vikings got three quick baskets from sophomore Elaina Franklin totake a 48-42 lead.