With the playoffs a little more than a week away, the No. 13 Long Reach girls basketball team will enter the stretch run of the season without senior forward Whitney Ward.
Ward confirmed Tuesday that she had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during the Lightning's 74-60 loss to River Hill on Feb. 4.
That means that Ward, who averaged 12.9 points and is tied with fellow senior Timisha Gomez in rebounding, will be sidelined until at least mid-May.
Ward's absence "is going to hurt us on boards, and it's going to hurt us on points, but the No. 1 thing is her leadership," said Long Reach coach Kevin Broadus.
Ward, who plans to have surgery March 3, regrets having her final high school season end prematurely. She will play at George Mason next fall on a basketball scholarship.
"The most difficult time to watch the team play is when we're in close games," she said. "I just feel like I want to put in some help. ... But I'm not trying to think about it."
Chapelgate gets top seed
The Chapelgate boys basketball team earned the top seed in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference playoffs by defeating Annapolis Area Christian on Monday, 68-55, behind 18 points from Sean Hamilton and 16 points from John Hein.
The victory completed an 18-0 league season and set a new record for regular-season league wins. The Yellow Jackets are 20-1 overall.
They will play host to a semifinal game Saturday against the winner of Park and Mount Carmel.
Glenelg Country wraps up
Several area winter sports programs wrapped up their seasons over the past week.
The Glenelg Country indoor soccer team advanced to its fourth consecutive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference championship game, but the Dragons dropped a 7-2 decision to Friends on Friday.
Glenelg Country hasn't captured a conference title since the 2000-01 season, but coach Craig Shale remained encouraged by his team's consistency.
"It's a big accomplishment to get to four straight finals," said Shale, who will return nine of 12 players next season. "We're consistent, and we look to build on it from year to year."
Although Chapelgate's bid for a third consecutive IAAM B Conference girls basketball title ended Tuesday night when Towson Catholic nipped the Yellow Jackets, 55-52, in a conference quarterfinals. Senior point guard Heather Landis scored a game-high 24 points, and senior guard Donna Geiger added 14 for Chapelgate.
However, Chapelgate's season isn't over yet. The Yellow Jackets (9-9 overall, 7-7 conference) are the No. 2 seed in the Maryland Christian Schools state tournament.
Chapelgate, which has captured the past three tournament championships, will play host to Covenant Life in a first-round game at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Pallotti, playing in the same conference as the Yellow Jackets, also fell in a quarterfinal, losing to Friends, 66-52.
Sophomore center Ashley Lyles had a game-high 23 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Panthers (13-12, 9-7).
"It was a learning experience for a young team," said Pallotti coach Debbie Skelly, who returns three of five starters.
Glenelg Country lost to Arlington Baptist, 85-27, in an IAAM C Conference quarterfinal Tuesday night.
Junior guard Bea Mok paced the Dragons (2-17, 0-14) with 13 points.
Long Reach relay shines
Lost in the shuffle of the Class 3A-2A state indoor track and field championships was a county-record performance from Long Reach's 1,600-meter relay squad.
The foursome of senior Jarnae Carter, junior JaNay Woolridge and sophomores Jamese Cobb and Tahnee Fields placed second to Kennedy with a time of 4 minutes, 13.50 seconds. That broke the previous record of 4:15.20 set last season by Mount Hebron.
Keith takes over
Jerry Keith has succeeded R.J. Windows as the head softball coach at Wilde Lake.
Keith, a former head and assistant boys basketball coach for the Wildecats and a former assistant boys basketball coach at River Hill, was a volunteer assistant for Wilde Lake's softball team last spring.