Fallston took command early and never let up in stomping visiting Towson, 67-49, in the Class 2A North regional championship game last night.
It was the 17th straight victory for No. 4 Fallston (21-1) and sends the Cougars to the state tournament for the fourth year in a row. For a second successive year, Towson (22-1) had to face a focused Fallston team in a regional final.
Before the game, coach Nancy Ferguson told her players that it was important to get on top early and cut off the Generals' baseline drives.
So, the Cougars broke away from a tie at 10 with three straight baskets, and the rout was on. The margin was eight at the quarter, 15 at the half, and 23 after three quarters.
Fallston won with an aggressive defense that came away with 13 steals and nine blocked shots in the first half alone. There were eight more steals and nine more blocks in the second half, and reserves played most of the last quarter.
"We just had so many turnovers and they were all over the boards [21 in the first half; 29 in the second]," Towson coach Bev Snyder said.
"We never got into our offense, and we just didn't play well. Everything they threw up went in. We couldn't make a basket."
Several Fallston starters said they weren't nervous; they thought they had played the tough one Thursday (62-55, against Catonsville), and just came out ready to play.
Fallston is rich in talent and depth. Thursday, senior Candy Credito (23 points) came through; last night it was sophomore Karen Tiedemann.
A scouting report would focus on the three seniors who have played key roles in the team's four-year regional domination -- Credito, Jenny Weber, and Lori Heffley -- but this time it was Tiedemann who asserted herself early.
The forward made three of her first four shots from along the baseline, and later added a foul shot and a basket for nine of her team's 19 points. She grabbed seven rebounds in the first half, and added eight more in the second half, all but one at the defensive end.
The Towson defense spread out to pick her up, and Heffley, who orchestrates the offense and defense from point guard -- and always seems able to get the ball to the right player for the best shot -- went to Weber for a basket.
Reserve Courtney Benner came in and got a basket, and Heffley knocked down two outside shots. Everything the Cougars did went well; everything Towson tried misfired.
Katie Walker, a 6-foot-2 senior with averages of 18 points and 15 rebounds, went up against Credito, also a 6-2 senior, and it was no contest. Either Credito or Tiedemann would get a block, or Weber would knock the ball away.
She ended with 13 points, but was in foul trouble, getting three before the half and eventually fouling out with five minutes left. Freshman Sara Lev added 11.