Bruins step to the line, knock down Seahawks


The TV networks may be enjoying the prime-time sweeps season, but the Broadneck girls basketball team is already running repeats.

For the second time in as many weeks, the host Bruins made a living at the free-throw line to upend No. 19 South River, 50-36, in Annapolis last night.

Broadneck (10-8 overall, 7-5 county) converted 23 of 40 free throws, while the Seahawks went to the foul line just 15 times, connecting on five.

In last Tuesday's 62-54 win in Edgewater, the Bruins went 19-for-36 from the free-throw line, South River 12-for-17.

"We like to drive and draw fouls and get them in trouble," said Broadneck junior forward Danielle Gross, who scored 12 of her team-high 18 points from the foul line. "The guard guarding me was smaller than me, and I knew I could drive on her."

How dominating were the Bruins? They were awarded one-and-one free throws with 48.5 seconds left in the third quarter and earned the double bonus - meaning two free throws for every trip - with 5:29 left in the game.

Broadneck scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, and 14 came from the foul line.

"We know [the referees] are going to call the fouls," said senior center Erin Thorne, who recorded half of her 12 points from the free-throw line and grabbed seven rebounds. "We had to take it up strong and get the fouls."

The loss was South River's second in less than 24 hours. The Seahawks, who fell to No. 14 Severna Park on Wednesday night, slipped to fourth place in the county standings behind the Falcons, Chesapeake and No. 16 Arundel.

"I think we left all our emotion on the floor [against Severna Park] in South River," said coach John Wardell, whose squad fell to 11-6 and 8-4. "We came out flat, and that's my fault."

The Bruins were reeling from a 20-point loss to Chesapeake on Wednesday night, but seemed to have fresher legs. After sophomore forward Lindsay Sheppard drained a jumper and an ensuing free throw to give the Seahawks a 12-9 lead early in the second quarter, Broadneck took control.

Gross scored five points and sophomore forward Carolyn Coe added four during a 13-2 run to help the Bruins enter halftime with a 22-14 advantage.

With the Bruins leading 37-30 with 3:57 left in the game, Sheppard (team-high 18 points, 12 rebounds) connected on a three-pointer and one of two free throws to trim the lead to three.

But Broadneck hit five of its next six free throws, and a fadeaway jumper by senior guard Jessica Olsen (12 points and six rebounds) proved to be the final basket for the Seahawks as the Bruins closed the game with an 8-0 burst.

Coach Bruce Springer said he saw a relaxed Broadneck squad that seemed unburdened by the probability that it would not be playing in the county title game at Broadneck on Feb. 19.

"Before the game, we talked about being the spoiler," Springer said. "They play three contenders in five games. They seemed to like that role."

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