Despite the importance of a victory at this stage of the season, the best news to come out of No. 4 Roland Park's 57-55 overtime win over visiting Mercy yesterday was not the score, but who scored.
Sure, the Reds (18-6) got their usual 16 points from Betsy Gaines, but sophomore forward Kelsey Twist scored a game-high 26, including a layup with 0.9 seconds left in the extra period to clinch Roland Park's non-league win. And Twist's work on the defensive end wasn't bad, either. While Jamie Vogtman did finish with 15 points, Twist often limited her to one shot, and Vogtman finished with only six rebounds.
"I knew coming in Jamie was going to be a tough challenge," said Twist. "I just tried to post up real hard and box out."
Mercy (17-9) had one last chance to tie the game in overtime, as Vogtman dribbled toward the basket with 0.4 seconds left. But Roland Park was awarded possession on a jump ball, as Vogtman got tangled up with Reds guard Meghan Kelly.
With the Association of Independent Schools tournament beginning today, Roland Park coach Scott Buckley was looking to get a good test from the seventh-ranked Magic. He almost got more than he bargained for.
Mercy hit five of its first seven shots on the way to a 23-12 lead after one quarter, during which Roland Park had six turnovers. And after the Reds rallied to a 51-45 lead with 4: 21 left in regulation, they had three consecutive turnovers to help Mercy pull even at 51 on a layup by Katie Schuyler (14 points) with 1: 25 remaining.
"We came out a little flat, but we stuck together, came back and I'm really proud of the way we played," Buckley said.
As much as Twist saved the Reds at the end, she also kept them afloat late in the first half. Twist's five second-quarter points helped Roland Park get within 31-27 at halftime, and her three-point play early in the third period gave the Reds their first lead at 34-33.
"Our ball movement was good, and that helped me get open underneath," said Twist, who combined with Esther Ehrmann for 20 rebounds.
After Twist's three-point play, Mercy sputtered on offense, scoring just six points over the last 4: 51 of the third.
"We didn't spread the floor and rushed at times, so a lot of our turnovers were attributed to us," said Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion.
Gaines and Twist each had a layup in overtime to give Roland Park leads of 53-51 and 55-53. But Mercy answered each time, the last on a 14-foot jumper by Erin McKay that tied the game at 55 with 1: 11 left.
After a missed shot by Kelly, Vogtman missed inside for Mercy, but the ball was rebounded by Twist, and the Reds called a timeout to set up a final play.
"Our post game has really come along since the Christmas break, and Kelsey and Esther are really coming on strong," Buckley said.
Pub Date: 2/08/99