Nice timing, Glenelg.
"It absolutely was our best game of the year, without a doubt," said Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar. "To have their best game in the state championship . . . I really could not have even imagined that that would happen."
The eighth-ranked Gladiators shot 50 percent from the field, played spectacular defense and got contributions from a number of players to defeat Allegany, 70-57, last night at UMBC for the Class 1A state title. It was the Howard County school's first basketball title.
"Everybody was really calm, so they played their game," said Glenelg senior guard Lauren Martin, who finished with a game-high 22 points, including four three-pointers. "And when everybody plays their game, this is what Glenelg looks like. We look really good and really smooth."
Said Glenelg guard Heather Young, who scored six points and was a defensive thorn all night for the Campers: "We played the whole game. Defensively, offensively, everything worked right. Everything went our way."
Senior center Kris Brust finished with 19 points, 10 in the first half to help the Gladiators (26-1) to a 33-25 lead. Junior forward Stephanie Howell regained her shooting touch from the baseline and had 12 points, and junior forward Jenny Kurdziel had six points.
"To have Stephanie, Heather and Jenny and everybody else step up in the same game, it was great," said Lesikar.
The Gladiators got a big lift early when Kurdziel made her team's first two baskets. Martin missed twice before Kurdziel sank a jumper from above the free-throw line to tie the game at 2. After two more Glenelg misses, and trailing 6-2, Kurdziel again found the range.
Allegany turned the ball over on its next possession, and Brust scored on an offensive rebound and was fouled. Her three-point play with 4: 34 left gave Glenelg a 7-6 lead it never relinquished.
"You know I'm not the one that's shy about taking shots," said Kurdziel, explaining her offensive philosophy. "I'm just glad they went in."
Said Lesikar: "She's not afraid to take that shot in a big game. It doesn't phase her."
Glenelg, which lost only to 13th-ranked Centennial this season in the regular-season finale, made half of its 18 first-quarter shots and took a 21-10 advantage.
"Once we get on a roll and get our momentum going its hard for teams to come back once we're ahead of them," said Martin, who finished her career as Howard County's all-time leading scorer (1,763 points) and the season with a record 78 three-point baskets. "I think we just got off to a good start, then we just kept feeding off of that."
Allegany (24-3) cut its deficit to 33-27 at the start of the third quarter. But Martin (10 points) and Brust (seven points) took over offensively and the Glenelg defense forced eight turnovers to help the Gladiators take a 56-39 margin into the final quarter.
Glenelg, which forced 28 turnovers, increased its lead to 22 points in the final quarter.
"The key was we stayed calm and focused the entire game," said Howell. "We just wanted it so bad."
GLENELG -- Young 8, Martin 22, Brust 19, Howell 12, Kurdziel 6, Edell 2, Lewis 1. Totals 29 8-18 70.
ALLEGANY -- Keith 4, Marray 12, Little 19, Smith 14, Walton 8. Totals 21 6-12 57. Half: G, 33-25.
Class 2A girls
Parkside 60, Urbana 59: Parkside won its first state title, rallying from a 12-point halftime deficit to slip past Urbana (24-3)at UMBC. Kim Davis, who finished with 17 points, scored the winning goal on a driving layup with 14 seconds left for the Rams (26-2).
After a timeout, Urbana's Jennie Orelli tried to send a long pass from midcourt to Kelly Sadtler, breaking for the basket, but the pass sailed over Sadtler's head and out of bounds.
Pub Date: 3/14/99