By all rights, it should've been a blowout.
Facing Central Maryland Conference power Linganore last night, the host Westminster girls committed 35 turnovers and were out-rebounded on the offensive end 19-1. Even so, it took a 10-0 Lancers run over the final 3:36 to send the Owls to a 47-36 loss last night in their final regular-season basketball game.
"You can't fault the hustle. I think we just kind of ran out of gas a little bit toward the end," Westminster coach Sue Conklin said. "It was almost as if we had worked so hard to get back into it, then we took a breath and they took [advantage]."
Linganore's poor second-half shooting didn't hurt, either.
After leading by as much as nine, the Lancers (16-5 overall, 12-3 CMC) went 2-for-23 from the field over the first 12:23 of the second half. Led by forward Emily Bollinger (13 points) and freshman guard Brianne Sims (10), the Owls (13-9, 10-6) climbed back with an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter, pulling within a point on Bollinger's two foul shots with 3:58 left.
"We were running our offense pretty good. We just couldn't make shots," Linganore coach Brian Matthews said. "Luckily, we kept getting offensive rebounds."
From then, however, the Lancers sealed the win with a run punctuated by Megan Uglik's steal and layup off a timeout and Keely Walker's three-pointer.
Amy Hoffman led Linganore with 16 points and Jenna Gambino added 11.
For much of the night, however, the game was one-sided, even if the score wasn't.
By forcing turnovers and dominating the boards, Linganore managed 64 shots from the field, to Westminster's 33. Unable to get any second-chance baskets, Westminster managed to stay close with 46 percent shooting.
"We're not getting any offensive boards," Conklin said. "We're getting one shot and out, and that's almost as bad as a turnover."
Westminster has three days to practice before opening the Class 4A East playoffs at 5 p.m. Friday against North County at Glen Burnie High. Conklin said that she will use that time to tackle the basics.
"I think we really need to work on the little things," Conklin said. "We have to work on boxing out, our ball-handling and getting into our offensive sets."