Annapolis' girls basketball season would have been a bigger fTC success if the Panthers had been able to do three things.
Avoid Old Mill twice during the Girls Class 4A, Region IV final
regular season and again in the playoffs.
The Panthers went 0-3 against Old Mill, including last night's 77-36 drubbing in the Class 4A, Region IV final. The combined margin of the victories was 90 points.
Last night's win sends Old Mill (23-1) to UMBC for Thursday's state Class 4A semifinals.
The Patriots, ranked No. 2 in the metro area and winner of 20 in a row, are trying to become the first 4A school to win three consecutive titles.
Senior forward Anne Chicorelli had 19 points, 11 rebounds and two steals for Old Mill, which went 17-for-32 from the floor in the first half and built a 43-17 lead. Senior swingman Stacy Himes added 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals.
Himes was assigned by coach Pat Chance to Annapolis' 6-foot-1 junior center Shannon Henderson in Old Mill's man-to-man defense and limited her to eight points.
"Ms. Chance wanted a quicker person on [Henderson]," said Himes, 5-10, one of six seniors playing in her final home game. "Last time we played them, she never posted up. She always came out to the outside and made her moves from there. She wanted someone quicker to try and make her turn the ball over and stop her from driving and deny her the ball a lot."
That wasn't the only defensive gem of the game. Patriots junior Michelle Salmon (nine points, five rebounds, three assists) helped limit Annapolis' Cristi Samaras to nine points.
"It was a lucky guess, I guess," said Chance, when asked about her defensive strategy. "It couldn't be good coaching.
Annapolis coach Teresa Ross, who is moving to Kansas later this month, said, "We knew they were going to try to be physical with Shannon, and we had decided that we were going to try to implement the three-point shot tonight. Unfortunately, their other man-to-man defense was too quick for us."
Old Mill did much of its offensive damage in the first half without Chicorelli, who went to the bench with her third foul late in the first quarter. She scored 11 points in the third quarter, which ended with Old Mill leading, 61-23.
Salmon scored the game's first four points, and, after senior guard Christine Baer (12 points, seven rebounds, three steals) converted a pass from Salmon for a 12-3 lead, Ross called a timeout. But that only delayed the inevitable.
"We did a lot more than I expected this season," Ross said. "If someone had told me we were going to win 19 games, I would have said, 'You're crazy. You don't know what you're talking about.' I'm really, really proud of the way these girls came together."
Janelle Queen scored eight points for Annapolis (19-6), which went 11-for-53 from the floor and made 24 turnovers.
Allison Wentworth and Debbie Dawson each had six points for Old Mill.