Glenelg senior Lauren Martin became Howard County's all-time leading scorer last night, but the fifth-ranked Gladiators' hopes of an undefeated season and outright county championship were thwarted by a Centennial team that would not be denied.
The 16th-ranked Eagles took their first lead of the game on the last shot of the third quarter and never lost it en route to a 46-41 victory in front of a noisy, near-capacity crowd at Glenelg.
Centennial (20-2 overall, 17-1 league) earned a share of the county title with the Gladiators (21-1, 17-1), who were hoping to repeat Wilde Lake's 18-0 county championship record of last season. It is Centennial's third title -- the last coming two seasons ago when it tied Wide Lake -- and Glenelg's fifth title -- the last coming in the 1988-89 season.
Martin, a senior guard, needed 15 points to break Doreatha Beck's record of 1,676 points. She scored 12 points, including three three-pointers, in the first half to help the Gladiators take a 21-19 lead. She missed all six of her shots in the third quarter.
Ashley Evans' three-point basket with 25 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Eagles its first lead, 33-30. The Gladiators had three turnovers and two missed shots in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, and Centennial extended its lead to 37-30 on a basket by Stacie Tokasz (team-high 12 points) and two free throws by Lisa Richardson.
Martin scored with six minutes left to tie the county record. After a Centennial miss, Martin hit a three-pointer that broke the record and cut Glenelg's deficit to 37-35 with 5: 34 remaining. But that was Martin's last basket as she missed her last six shots.
Centennial went on 6-0 run -- including two baskets by Tokasz -- to take an eight-point lead with just under two minutes to play. The Eagles made only three of 11 free throws the rest of the way, but the closest Glenelg got was the final margin.
Martin was honored after the game and presented a WNBA basketball with the inscription: "Howard County basketball, Lauren Martin, 1995-1999, all-time leading scorer."
"It means a lot," said Martin, the leading three-point shooter the last three seasons who has a county-record 65 this season. "Howard County has a had a lot of great players and to have my name remembered as a great player is definitely a compliment."
Beck, who graduated from Mount Hebron in 1982, congratulated Martin after the game.
"I was happy for her," Beck said. "I've had the record for 17 years. I was surprised that it took so long [to break] because of the three-point shot."
Centennial coach Dave Greenberg said the victory was "a great team effort. We had solid contributions from a ton of players."
Every player that Centennial sent on the floor scored. The Eagles' bench outscored Glenelg's bench, 17-2.
Pub Date: 2/24/99