When a girls basketball team like Chapelgate's has tasted the sweet reward of playing for an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference crown, as it did last season, not much motivation is required.
Though the Flames were coming off a three-point loss to St. John's-Prospect Hall Monday, they found plenty of inspiration yesterday to hand host Severn a 66-42 setback in Severna Park.
Chapelgate (14-4, 10-2 conference) seemed intent on erasing the memory of its second regular-season loss to St. John's, the reigning league champion that defeated the Flames, 52-35, in last year's tournament final.
"We didn't play very well as a team Monday," said Chapelgate sophomore guard Heather Landis. "We tried to get focused again."
That wasn't much of a problem yesterday for the Flames, who finished with four players in double digits in points. Landis (five steals, four assists), senior guard Kristen Lynott and senior forward Liz Moraz each scored 11 points, and senior forward Christy Groves chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
Chapelgate collected 17 steals and shot 27-for-59 (45.8 percent) from the floor - mostly off fast-break layups.
"Our game is really in the transition," said Lynott, who recorded six rebounds, three steals and three assists. "We're small and quick. Knowing that and knowing that we can play tough defense, that helped us get the steals we needed."
After Severn senior forward Ingrid Pailthorp (a game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds) scored the game's first basket, the Flames posted the next nine points for a lead they would never relinquish.
Overcoming a six-minute drought that spanned the first and second quarters, the Admirals cut the lead to five when Pailthorp sank one of two free throws. But Chapelgate scored four of the next five points to take a 31-23 advantage into halftime.
The Flames broke it open in the second half, outscoring Severn 14-5 in the third quarter and 21-14 in the final period.
"That's Chapelgate basketball - press and run," said Flames coach Jim Barber.
If Barber had one complaint, it was his team's inability to keep the Admirals off the boards. Severn out-rebounded Chapelgate, 45-31, and grabbed 22 offensive rebounds.
But, as in its two-point overtime loss to Friends on Friday, when the Admirals missed 15 free throws, Severn (12-5, 7-4) was just seven of 27 (25.9 percent) from the free-throw line.
"To beat Chapelgate, we needed to play our best game and they had to give us a chance to win," said Admirals coach Chuck Miller. "Chapelgate gave us every chance in the world. It's a whole different ballgame if we make [the free throws]."