North Carroll didn't exactly waltz into the state Class 2A, Region I girls basketball championship game last night.
The second-seeded Panthers ran into a charged-up, sixth-seeded Glenelg and had to rely on some late heroics by reserve forward Casey Rhoten to hold off the Gladiators, 59-58, in the semifinal game at North Carroll.
Rhoten scored six of the last seven points for the Panthers (18-5) in the final four minutes, 35 seconds of the game and finished with 12 points.
Senior center Michele Jeffery led the winners with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Glenelg (9-13) was led by hot-shooting senior Carrie Ebersberger, who hit five straight shots from the same spot on the floor in the second quarter for 10 points.
Ebersberger finished with 14 points and senior center Debbie Snyder scored 10 points before fouling out with 3:14 left in the game. Dana Hoffman had 12 for Glenelg.
North Carroll will meet the winner of the other 2A, Region I semifinal between top-seeded and unbeaten Middletown and North Hagerstown.
That game at Middletown was postponed last night because of an ice storm and rescheduled for tonight at 7. The 2A, Region I championship game will be played tomorrow night at the site of the higher seed.
Rhoten had a chance to make things a little easier for North
Carroll in the final 23 seconds of the game, but she missed the front end of two one-and-one situations with her team clinging to a 59-56 lead.
After Rhoten failed on the second one-and-one with nine seconds left, Glenelg sophomore Kim Brown tried to tie the game with a three-point shot with three seconds on the clock.
Brown missed the three-pointer but was fouled by Jeffery on the TC shot and had three free throws and another opportunity to tie the game.
Brown missed the first one but hit the next two to reduce the lead to 59-58.
On the North Carroll inbounds play, Jeffery was fouled by Glenelg's Christina Flowers with one second left. Jeffery had a one-and-one situation but missed, and the Gladiators came down with the rebound.
However, time ran out before Glenelg could get the ball downcourt for a shot.