Aberdeen moves into 2A, East final with 45-37 win over N. Harford


Ask Aberdeen's Shareice Galloway and she'll give you a matter-of-fact answer.

"We're going all the way," she says. "All the way through the states."

Galloway and her Eagles teammates took a big step in that direction last night, using superior speed and ball-handling skills to beat North Harford, 45-37, in a Class 2A, East region semifinal game.

Tameka McDonald had 14 points to lead Aberdeen (18-4), while Jessica Cushing and Melissa Whitacre had 11 apiece for North Harford.

The Eagles advanced to tomorrow's regional final, where they will meet the winner of last night's Stephen Decatur-Parkside game.

The Eagles had trouble with North Harford's interior defense early, but continued to push the ball and score on fast breaks.

Leading by only four at the half, Aberdeen coach Brandy Barnes made some adjustments.

"We'd been playing mostly 'man' up to that point," Barnes said, "but then we switched to a 2-3 zone. It seemed to work better."

Did it ever. The Eagles held North Harford (13-9) to one field goal in the third quarter and built a 32-24 lead with eight minutes left.

"I think North Harford wanted it a little more than we did [in the first half]," said Barnes. "I told them at halftime that they needed to want it more. They responded to that."

The Hawks tried to mount a rally early in the third, cutting a 12-point lead to eight on a Megan Garafola basket with 5:24 left. That was as close as they would get.

Not everything went Aberdeen's way. Starting forward Rudina Johnson had to leave the game late in the first half with a knee injury. At the time, she was Aberdeen's leading scorer.

"She said she heard something pop," said Barnes. "We'll get her checked out and hopefully she'll be OK.

North Harford coach Lin James, whose team lost to the Eagles by only two the last time they met, blamed turnovers for the loss.

"We turned it over too much," said James. "Because of injuries we had to play some freshmen, and they made freshman mistakes."

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