Top-ranked Seton Keough owes much of its success this season to a stifling defense, but last night, the Gators proved just how overwhelming they can be when their offense is on a roll.
The Gators shot 44.7 percent from the field and cruised to a 57-37 victory over No. 5 Institute of Notre Dame in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference quarterfinal round. They advance to tomorrow's semifinals and will play host to No. 11 Bryn Mawr at 5 p.m.
Sara Franz scored 19 points - more than any Gator has scored all season - and Jackie Valderas added 13 to go with eight rebounds and seven blocks. The team hit 7-of-18 three-point shots and 19 of its 21 field goals were assisted.
In winning their 18th straight game, the host Gators (21-4) broke out to 12-4 lead and kept increasing the margin until it reached as high as 46-20 in the third quarter.
In the first half against the Indians' zone defense, the Gators shot 52 percent, hitting 14 of 27 shots from the field.
"With them coming in in a zone, we just figured this is our gym, we shoot well here and we're going to tear it up," said Valderas, a 6-foot All-Metro forward. "We just tried to get the ball inside and kick out weak side. That was working well and by the time they started coming out on Sara, we had Kelly O'Connell inside."
The Indians (16-10) could not match the offensive output, shooting 21 percent from the field against the man-to-man defense. In the first half, they scored just 13 points - seven of them from the free-throw line. They managed just eight field goals in the game.
Chandrea Jones led the Indians with 16 points, but 11 came from the line.
"We stayed in a zone too long and they got really hot from the three-point line," said IND coach Herb Hoelter. "They were just on. They had a great day and we didn't play as well as we could have in the first half and as aggressively as we could have."
No. 2 St. Frances 67, No. 17 St. Mary's 59: The defending A Conference champion Panthers (18-5) ran up a 26-12 first-quarter lead and that was enough to hold off the Saints (16-11).
The Panthers, who will play host to No. 4 Archbishop Spalding in tomorrow's 5:30 p.m. semifinal, were led by Kia Coady (24 points, including five three-pointers) and Angel McCoughtry (20 points, 17 rebounds.
Bridget Noon led the Saints with 24 points.
No. 11 Bryn Mawr 58, No. 15 McDonogh 37: Andrea Dodrill scored 18 the visiting Mawrtians (16-10) won their A Conference quarterfinal. Camrell Gholston scored 14 for the Eagles (12-9).