Arlington Baptist girls get goal, then crown by beating Chapelgate

LANHAM — LANHAM -- For a whole year, Faith Happel and some of her Arlington Baptist girls basketball teammates set their sights on one goal: meeting Chapelgate again in the final of the Maryland Christian Schools tournament.

With one goal realized, the Eagles accomplished another when they upended the reigning tournament champion Yellow Jackets, 59-54, in a Division I final yesterday at Washington Bible College.


Arlington Baptist (24-0) lost to Chapelgate in last winter's championship, also the Yellow Jackets' third consecutive tournament crown.

"This whole season, it was in the back of our minds," said Happel, a senior center who paced the top-seeded Eagles with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds. "Every game we played was one game closer to playing Chapelgate. ... We definitely didn't want to lose again."


Arlington Baptist, the two-time Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference champion, also received 21 points and 10 rebounds from Sade Bryant and 11 points from Brianna Wise.

Erica Lynott's 16 points led second seed Chapelgate (11-11).

The Yellow Jackets went most of the second half without senior Heather Landis, a two-time All-Howard County player who injured her right knee with 2:59 left in the second quarter. Coach Jim Barber said Landis might have torn a ligament.

Still, Chapelgate stayed close and even took a 54-52 lead on Donna Geiger's two foul shots with 2:35 left in the game.

But Arlington Baptist scored the final seven points -- five from Happel.

The Yellow Jackets tried to keep the ball and run out the clock when they had the lead, but turnovers on back-to-back possessions set up the Eagles.

Bryant said that coach Shirley Kemp told the players that they had to avoid fouling Chapelgate and playing into their strategy.

"We knew we had to win," Bryant said. "We had to play defense and get the ball back."


Division I boys

Antioch Christian 54, Washington Christian 46: Tiashawn Cannon's 23 points and seven rebounds powered the Arnold school to its third tournament championship and a 27-0 record.

Washington Christian finished at 21-5.

Division II girls

Carroll Christian 42, New Life Christian 38: Beth Lenko posted 12 points, nine rebounds and four steals to lead the No. 3 seed to its first tournament crown.

Trailing by three at halftime, the Patriots (13-8) opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run and kept No. 4 seed New Life (12-12) at bay thereafter.


Senior forward Kelly Memphis compiled eight points and 12 rebounds for Carroll Christian, which had won two of the previous three Maryland Association of Christian Schools championships.

Division II boys

Clinton Christian 78, Carroll Christian 49: The No. 10 seed's Cinderella-like run came to an end as the Patriots (6-16) were overwhelmed.

Nathan Melton's 14 points and seven rebounds led Carroll Christian (6-16), which had upset No. 2 seed Greater Grace and No. 3 seed Arlington Baptist to reach the final. Clinton Christian finished at 15-8.