Few high school girls basketball teams have the kind of talent St. Mary's has. When you have four Division I caliber players as the Saints do, there is always somebody to step up on one of those nights.
The No. 3 Saints simply have too many weapons to be shut down.
Last night at Severna Park, returning All-County guard Maria Smear stepped up on a night the Saints didn't seem to be in sync. Smear scored a career-best 29 points to pace the Saints (3-0) to a 71-50 rout of Severna Park (0-2).
Smear, who has scored 56 points in the first three games, also had seven rebounds, five assists and four steals in what was a complete game. Her play led the Saints to a pair of season-opening victories in Pulaski, Va., over the weekend.
"We made a mistake scrimmaging Severna Park this year, " said St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson, whose Saints played an uninspired first half.
"We were too lackadaisical. We normally don't scrimmage teams we play during the season and I think we were very overconfident tonight. Thank goodness Maria Smear played great."
The only other Saint in double digits was fellow guard Emily vTC Lipton, who chipped in 15 to go with four rebounds, six assists and four steals.
The other Saints senior guard, Terri Daniels, had six points, eight rebounds, two assists and three steals.
St. Mary's had a 12-point lead most of the first half -- 22-10 at the end of the first period and 34-22 at the break before blowing it open in the third period and finishing with 48-percent accuracy (31-for-65) from the floor.
While the Falcons hit only three of 16 field-goal attempts in the third period (17-for-58, 29 percent for the game), the Saints were 11-for-17 from the floor to take a 54-34 lead into the final eight minutes.
"We were definitely overconfident coming in, " said Smear, who has not yet committed to a college.
The Falcons successfully got the Saints into a half-court game to slow them down, but eventually, with Smear igniting a series of layups, Severna Park was to suffer its second straight loss under new coach, Bill Giblin. Both losses, however, have been to Catholic League powers in the Saints and No. 8 Mercy.
"Because of the success of our girls fall teams at Severna Park, we've only had our entire team together for six practices," Giblin said. "So, I think we did a pretty decent job playing a team with four Division I players. Mercy beat [Severna Park] by 50 last year and St. Mary's by 40 -- 80 the year before -- so it's a good starting point."
Pub Date: 12/09/98