Coppin Academy eliminated, Pikesville advances in Class 1A girls basketball state semifinals

Coppin Academy played well at times in Friday night’s Class 1A girls basketball state semifinal against Smithsburg, but the Eagles simply ran into too many problems to get past the determined Leopards.

The issues came in various ways and places – offense, defense and even the scorebook before the game – and No. 14 Coppin could not overcome the troubles as Smithsburg handed the Eagles a 62-50 defeat at Towson University’s SECU Arena.


Things went wrong from the start when Coppin coach Ulysses Hardy signed his pregame scorebook that had a player wearing the wrong jersey number. That’s an administrative technical, and it gave the Leopards two free throws and possession right away.

Coppin (20-7) had some trouble with the 1-2-2 zone Smithsburg (20-7) used. The Leopards had stuck with man-to-man most of the season, and Hardy thought the Eagles could have fared better.


“We just didn’t get [the most out] of the attack, off the dribble,” he said. “We kind of settled for too many jumpers.”

Coppin seemed hesitant at time on offense, making drives into traffic or taking longer jumpers instead of attacking the zone. That was a big reason the Eagles shot just 31 percent (19-for-62) from the field.

“The zone worked for us today,” Smithsburg coach Charles Burnett said. “We did our job.”

Tanae Galloway led the Eagles with 16 points while Nyshae Weaver added 12 points and 15 rebounds. Kayla Henderson added 10 points.


The Eagles also made just eight of 21 free throws, which cost them chances to cut into the Smithsburg lead in the second half.

On defense, Coppin left too many players open for too many shots. The Leopards repeatedly found spots in the middle of the Eagles’ defense and got high-percentage jumpers or just drove for layups.

Smithsburg scored 34 of its 62 points in the paint.

“Our defense is what hurt us the most,” Henderson said. “The defense, that hurt us the most most of the season, but I think we can figure it out [for next year].”

Hardy said the Leopards did a good job of putting everyone in the right places on offense. Smithsburg repeatedly also found players open on the wings, and that led to trouble on many occasions.

“I was surprised that they had so many open looks,” he said. “They spaced the floor so well.”

The Leopards also turned the game into a bit of a track meet at times. They kept forcing the Eagles to run, and it seemed to bother Coppin, especially in the second half.

Smithsburg stretched its three-point halftime lead in the third quarter before the Eagles sliced it to 42-40 on a Weaver layup with just over a minute remaining.

But it was all Smithsburg after that. The Leopards went on an 18-3 run and took charge. Ashley Davis led them with 19 points as the team shot 46 percent from the field. They made seven of 12 in the fourth quarter and pulled away.

Hardy was hopeful after the loss. They lost a few key players with injuries this season but his entire roster returns for next season, and they have made the state semifinals each of the past two years.

They also learned a lesson or two about conditioning, a key thing that the young Eagles can take from this loss and use to help them going forward.

“I think our conditioning is not where it should be,” Hardy said. “Now they understand they have to commit. [Smithsburg was] running, and I didn’t see one young lady bent over.”

S - Barnes 13, Grove 11, Singh 2, Davis 19, Henderson 4, Lindsay 5, Rummel 8. Totals: 25 8-12 62.

C - Galloway 16, Ealy 4, Henderson 10, Weaver 12, Free 8. Totals: 19 8-21 50. Half: S, 30-27.

PIKESVILLE 71, LARGO 41: Kristin Sterling finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds as No. 9 Pikesville raced to a big early lead and rolled to a 71-41 victory over Largo in a Class 1A state semifinal Friday night at Towson University’s SECU Arena.

This is the first time that Pikesville (25-4) has ever made the state championship game in girls’ basketball, and they’ll meet Coppin or Smithsburg at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Panthers made the state semifinals last year for the first time in school history.

Pikesville took care of this one quickly, jumping to a 20-0 lead. The Panthers held a 15-0 lead after one and were up 37-16 at half. They held Largo (17-9) to just four first-half baskets.

Largo tried to make a run in the third quarter but Pikesville stunned the Lions with one quick sequence. Sterling made one basket, and Tyra Robinson (14 points) stole the next two inbounds passes and made lay-ups from the same spot for six quick points, and the Panthers coasted from there.

Keante Lewis added 10 points for Pikesville, whose defense suffocated Largo, holding the Lions to 24 percent shooting (12-for-50).

P - Glover-Bey 4, Frazier 3, Lewis 10, Robinson 14, Sawyer 3, Sterling 23, Roberts 6, Saunders 8. Totals: 26 15-20 71.

L - Hackett 4, Simms 2, Schwarzmann 11, Nixon 2, Lewis 7, Matthews 5, Watkins-Harvey 5, Johnson 5. Totals: 12 15-33 41. Half: P, 37-16.

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