In the second quarter of last night's game against St. John's at Prospect Hall, Seton Keough coach Jim Stromberg called a time out to ask his Gators, "Do you want to play or do you want to watch Nikki Teasley play?"
While the No. 3 Gators preferred to play, everyone else came to watch Teasley, rated the best player in the country by the Blue Star scouting report.
Teasley did not disappoint the standing-room-only crowd showing off a repertoire of flashy moves that sometimes froze the Gators in their tracks. She scored 34 points and had 15 rebounds to lead the Vikings (26-3) over the host Gators 56-40.
The Gators (18-4) did not disappoint either. While the Vikings are ranked third in the state, the Gators are seventh and the game lived up to that kind of billing.
Although the Gators fell behind by as many as 16 points in the first half, they rallied to within six at the end of three quarters.
Suzanne Becker hit a three-pointer late in the third quarter to pull within 44-36. Then when Vikings coach Steve Kennedy picked up a technical foul after Teasley was called for a double dribble, Meghan Allan hit both free throws to pull within 44-38.
The Gators had many chances to get closer, but they hit only one of their last 19 shots. They also missed plenty of layups throughout the game.
"We got a lot of open looks," said Stromberg, "and we knocked some down in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter we just didn't make them, but the effort was really good. There's no telling what would have happened if we had gotten close. I'm sure Nikki would have come up with something."
Teasley, a 6-1 point guard, did just about everything for the Frederick team in the first half. She had eight points, an assist and a steal in the first three minutes.
By halftime, she had scored 22 points. The Gators had scored 21.
Two of her crowd-pleasing plays drove the Vikings lead to 35-19 in the second quarter prompting Stromberg's time-out question.
First, she made a split-second spin move on the baseline to roll in a layup. Then on the next possession, she two-stepped down the lane with the ball held high over her head for another layup.
Most of the Gators assigned to guard Teasley spent the evening with sheepish grins on their faces.
"You never know what she's going to do," said freshman Denise King (nine points), one of those unlucky Gators defenders.
"Somebody with that kind of talent, you don't see everyday," said senior forward Andrea Pinheiro. "She makes any team look like a superstar team.
Pub Date: 2/18/97