Western's leading scorer, Latia Few, hit only one basket in last night's state Class 4A semifinal at UMBC, but it was the biggest shot of the game.
With 11 seconds left, Few drove for a layup that stopped a Frederick rally and sealed the No. 5 Doves' 47-42 win over the Cadets.
"I was off the whole night," said Few, who averages 15 points but was 1-for-13 last night. "But I wanted to contribute somehow. I wanted to make a basket when it really counted. I'm glad I hit that one."
The Doves (24-3) advanced to meet Prince George's County's Suitland at 3 p.m. tomorrow for the title. Last year, the Doves lost to eventual champ Suitland, 68-67, in the semifinals after Few's three-pointer at the buzzer was ruled to have been shot too late.
Last night, Few made her last shot count after the rallying Cadets (23-4) gave her an open lane down the middle to the basket. Few's layup snapped a five-point Cadets run that had brought them within 45-42 on Ashley Bush's free throw with 48 seconds left.
After Bush's free-throw, the Cadets got the rebound, but Katie Brennan missed their next shot. Laura Jobe grabbed the rebound for the Cadets, but Western's Joy Gorham quickly tied her up. The possession arrow gave the ball to the Doves, yielding Few's shot.
The Doves, who led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, went into a fourth-quarter tailspin, hitting only two baskets.
"We started to chase a little too much rather than play within ourselves," said Western coach Artie Uhlich. "When you chase, you start to foul. We needed better patience and better shot selection."
The Doves were in position to win because of a couple of key runs. Delena DeShields scored six and Crystal Falline and Lillian Drumgold added four each in a 14-point run that gave Western the lead for good midway through the second quarter.
After the Cadets pulled within 32-27 in the third quarter, the Doves answered with a 9-1 run.
"Their press definitely gave us trouble," said Frederick coach Todd Bono, whose taller team committed 27 turnovers. "They have quick, athletic guards. It was like they were playing 6-on-5 at times."
Even with Few struggling, the Doves had plenty of offense. Falline led with 15 points and four rebounds. Drumgold had 13 points and five rebounds. Gorham had nine points, DeShields eight.
Suitland drops Meade
The No. 6-ranked Meade Mustangs went the distance with the defending state champion Suitland, point for point at times, until the final buzzer yesterday.
But a 6-0 run with 1: 30 left to play provided just enough separation as the 23-1 Rams topped the Mustangs, 60-58. Meade was in its second state semifinal, the last having been 20 years ago.
Pub Date: 3/12/99