It started with relentless defensive work from the guards.
Then came the boxing out on the boards.
Add in some screens and good cuts through the lane.
The ninth-ranked Centennial Eagles had it all working last night at Westminster, coming away with an easy 59-36 win over the No. 18 Owls.
The Eagles guard rotation of Mallory Groves, Stacie Tokasz, Alexia Vogler and Cara Pulliam made it a four-quarter chore for the Owls (2-1) to bring the ball up-court.
And while the guards, without starting point-guard Michelle Kincaid, who is hurt, were doing a lot of the pesky work up front, the forwards were doing their thing inside. All three starters reached double figures in points with Kathleen O'Connor and Icyis Richardson sharing game-high honors with 14 each. The Eagles evened their record at 1-1 on the season.
"This was a good performance. This is how we coach them, and this is how it should be," said Centennial coach Dave Greenberg. "We lost our point guard and it has taken some time to adjust. This was the first time we really got after it the way we can. Stacie, Mallory and Lex did a great job pressuring the ball."
It was an uphill climb from the start for the Owls, who were coming off a solid win over Howard on Monday.
They were without injured guard Lauren Henry, and when point guard Kim Frame got into early foul trouble, getting the ball up-court was often an adventure.
"We were constantly making the same mistakes -- not taking care of the ball, not helping out on double teams," said Westminster coach Bernie Koontz.
After taking a 24-16 lead at the half, the Eagles pulled away with a big third quarter. Forward Meredith Price (11 points) converted a three-point play midway through to give the Eagles a 33-20 lead, and O'Connor went outside and hit a three with 3: 20 left to increase the lead to 38-22.
Meanwhile, the defense limited the Owls to just six field goals in the second half.
Senior center Jill Ibex, who often had to help get the ball up the floor, was never able to get into any kind of flow offensively. She had a basket in the second quarter and another one late in the fourth to finish with four points before fouling out. Guard Amy Lewis led the Owls with 10 points.
Centennial will open its Howard County schedule by hosting No. 8 and defending county champ Wilde Lake at 7 p.m. Friday.
Pub Date: 12/12/96