In the last five years, South Carroll had Wilde Lake's number. Two years ago, in fact, when the Wildecats won the Class 1A state title, the Cavaliers thrashed the Wildecats.
But not last night.
Wilde Lake rallied from a six-point, fourth-quarter deficit and defeated South Carroll, 42-37, in the season opener for both teams at Wilde Lake.
Neither team shot well, but eighth-ranked Wilde Lake took better care of the ball and made more shots in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line. The Cavaliers committed eight of their 22 turnovers in the final period and made only three of 14 shots.
"We're a lot better team then we showed tonight," said South Carroll senior center Ce Wagerer.
"We hustled well," said South Carroll coach Al Skierski, "but at times we had poor shot selection and didn't shoot well."
Wilde Lake committed only two turnovers in the fourth period, and its offense -- sparked by six of Bridget White's eight points -- bTC made eight of 17 field-goal attempts.
But the key for the Wildcats' fourth-quarter surge was its defense, which created turnovers that led to baskets.
"The defense was on," said Wilde Lake guard Toni White, who had a team-high 11 points. "The defense made up for our offense tonight."
South Carroll senior Shannon Henley scored half of her team-high 14 points in the third quarter to rally the Cavaliers from a two-point halftime deficit to a 29-25 lead entering the final period.
Jamie Yokay, who finished with 10 points, scored to give the Cavaliers a 31-25 lead with 7: 02 remaining. But the Wildecats, the defending Howard County champions who have 11 juniors and one sophomore, scored the next eight points -- six straight by Bridget White -- for a 33-31 lead with 4: 58 remaining.
Two free throws by Henley tied the game at 33, but two straight baskets by Toni White put the Wildecats ahead for good with three minutes left. Wagener's basket off an offensive rebound cut Wilde Lake's lead to 39-37 with 1: 41 left. But South Carroll's next two possessions resulted in a turnover and a missed one-and-one, and that was the game.
"Wilde Lake plays a good pressure defense," said Skierski. "We got a little careless at times and you can't do that against a good team, especially when you're playing from behind."
Wilde Lake assistant coach Don Storr coached the game because his wife and the team's head coach, Kelly, gave birth to their first child Monday afternoon. Following last night's game, Storr went to Howard County General Hospital to take Kelly and Kaelyn Marie home.
"I told the kids before the game that I didn't want to go back to the hospital with bad news," Don said.
Last night, they delivered.
Pub Date: 12/06/96