Hammond played like a champion yesterday in its 2A state title game against Linganore at UMBC.
The Golden Bears just didn't win.
Linganore junior Cara Consuegra scored 29, including 12 of her team's 14 fourth-quarter points, and the Lancers completed an undefeated season with a 61-54 victory.
The Lancers' closest margin of victory until yesterday was 15 points. But two-time defending state champion Hammond, playing in its fifth straight 2A final, rallied from a 15-point third-quarter deficit and twice had an opportunity to take the lead in the fourth period.
"I'm disappointed," said Hammond coach Joe Russo, who was given a technical foul late in the third quarter that cost his team two points. "We wanted to win, not just play a good game. We thought we could win, and we almost did. We gave it everything we had."
The 11th-ranked Golden Bears (20-8) got strong performances from senior Kellye Townsend (19 points, 13 rebounds), senior Brandy Peaker (11 points) and junior Nichole Owe (six points, seven rebounds).
Rene Hines, who had 29 points in Hammond's semifinal win Friday, battled foul trouble and a twisted ankle that sidelined her most of the third quarter and finished with eight points. Hines fouled out with 2: 51 remaining and ended 1-for-11 from the field.
Hammond couldn't match Linganore's speed. It went with a zone defense throughout and slowed the pace when possible. It paid off, as the Lancers made only 23 of 75 field goal attempts.
"Teams have played zone against us, but they didn't have three six-footers," said Linganore coach Brian Matthews. "That made a big difference. Our game plan was to penetrate and we didn't do that until the end."
Consuegra, a 5-foot-8 forward who led her team in rebounds (11) and steals (three), began driving the lane at the end, and scored the Lancers' last eight points, six from the line.
"She's very good," said Russo. "She's the best all-around player we've faced this year."
* Richard Montgomery 69, Douglass-PG 60 (OT): Richard Montgomery (24-3) forced overtime by scoring the final five points of regulation, then added eight straight to start the extra period and defeat Douglass-PG for the Class 3A state title.
The Rockets, who completed their season with 17 straight victories in earning the school's first state title, closed the game with a 17-3 run. Sparked by Kate Thirolf (29 points), Melika Gilbert (eight points) and Amy Cooper (three points), Richard Montgomery made several key shots and held Douglass (23-4) without a basket in overtime.
* Brunswick 58, Westmar 47: Frederick County's Brunswick (25-2) took control by scoring 13 of the first 16 points in the second half and went on to defeat Westmar for the Class 1A state title.
The Railroaders, who won the school's first state title with the victory, were led by Julie Foltz (19 points) and Jessica Sowers (14 points). Jill McGowan scored a game-high 23 points to lead Westmar (19-6).
Pub Date: 3/10/96