Before the Severn Admirals took the floor against visiting Garrison Forest in the Association of Independent Schools A Conference quarterfinals yesterday, they called a players-only meeting "to get everybody worked up," said sophomore center Katie Graw.
"We wanted to make sure everybody was up for it," she said. "And we said a prayer."
It was answered.
The Admirals, seeded No. 2 in the Red Division, opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run to take the lead for good, and they pulled away for a 59-38 victory over the Grizzlies, seeded No. 3 in the Blue Division.
Graw led all scorers with 18 points, and sophomore guard Monique Jennings added 17, as Severn avenged a 57-50 loss to Garrison Forest just 10 days ago.
The Admirals hope to pull the same trick this afternoon when they travel to No. 13 McDonogh, the No. 1 seed in the Red Division. They lost to the Eagles, 47-39, earlier.
The task is made more difficult with the loss of two starters. Senior forward/center Melissa Morlock is in Italy, and junior guard/forward Heidi Hammes sprained her left ankle with 53 seconds left in the third quarter yesterday and had to be helped pTC to the bench.
"That's going to hurt us," said coach Rhonda Warmsley-George, whose team is 13-5. "But if they come ready to play like they did today, we definitely have a shot. It's certainly within our realm, but we're going to have to play a game like we did today. Everyone is going to have to do well."
Graw said: "We were up by one the last time we played them, then something happened in the last quarter. All our starters had about four fouls and we got in big trouble. We're going to try to not let that happen again."
There were five lead changes yesterday in the first quarter, which ended with Garrison Forest ahead, 12-11. Jennings and Graw hit fromthe outside to begin the second quarter, and Hammes scored inside for a 17-12 advantage.
The Grizzlies didn't score until 4:53 remained on a basket by Ashley Ingraham. By halftime, Severn had taken a 27-18 lead, and the closest Garrison Forest would come was seven points early in the third quarter.
Sarah Long converted a pass from Jennings for a 31-22 lead. Emily Franey hit a three-pointer, Jennings made a steal and layup, Hammes rebounded a missed free throw and scored, and Graw made a jumper to extend the lead to 40-22.
"They had a lot of balls that they threw up that just went in today," said Garrison Forest coach Ed Morse. "And they didn't have any ofthose put-backs the first time we played them. We out-defensed them [in the first game]; they out-defensed us today. They were ready to play; we weren't ready to play. It just wasn't there."
"We came ready to play," said Warmsley-George. "We were making our layups, we were making our foul shots, and that's usually what hurts us."
The game was supposed to take place last week, but the inclement weather forced a couple of postponements.
"I was wondering how we were going to do, considering we haven't practiced in a while and haven't played. We've had so many breaks in our season, I thought it would hurt us," said Warmsley-George.