xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

In battle of defending champs, it’s all about staying calm in OT for St. Paul’s in overtime girls basketball game

Pikesville's Frances Glover-Bey, center, tries to keep control of the ball as she's guarded by Saint Paul's Destiny Ryles, left, and Espirit Cha, right. Pikesville HS vs St. Paul's School for Girls basketball, played at the SEED school. December 27, 2019
Pikesville's Frances Glover-Bey, center, tries to keep control of the ball as she's guarded by Saint Paul's Destiny Ryles, left, and Espirit Cha, right. Pikesville HS vs St. Paul's School for Girls basketball, played at the SEED school. December 27, 2019 (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

St. Paul’s coach Pat Conrad stresses to his team the importance of not letting emotions get the best of them in tough situations. On Friday night, the Gators did just what their coach asked.

After No. 12 St. Paul’s wasted a 16-point fourth-quarter lead and then made a last-second mistake that forced overtime, the Gators settled down in the extra period and outlasted No. 6 Pikesville, 58-57, in the All About The Girls Holiday Hoops tournament at The SEED School of Maryland.

Advertisement

St. Paul’s needed to overcome those late problems, which could shake any team. Instead, the Gators kept bouncing back, something Conrad enjoyed watching.

“We try not to get outside of our head, and we don’t want our emotions to get out of hand,” Conrad said. “[That] they can lose a lead and still come back and win against a very talented physical team ... it’s a big win.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

This was a battle of championship teams from a year ago.

St. Paul’s won the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference title, and Pikesville captured the Class 1A state championship. This year, the Panthers moved to Class 2A and made a schedule that’s going to give them more tests, especially in the first part of the season.

Pikesville started well before St. Paul’s (6-2) took charge with a 13-point first half run. The Gators held a 41-25 lead after a layup from Laurie Satchell (14 points) with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

But Pikesville (4-1) reeled off 16 straight points, the first eight coming from Tyra Robinson (game-high 21 points) with the final six coming on back-to-back Kristin Sterling (17 points) threes that tied the game at 41 with 3:39 left. Sterling later made two free throws with 6.1 seconds left for a 51-51 tie.

Advertisement

The Gators got the ball back after a timeout but top scorer Destiny Ryles (15 points) accidentally let the clock run out without a shot. Ryles was frustrated but wanted to keep everyone’s emotions in check.

“I just told my teammates we’ll have to win it in overtime,” Ryles said. “I have faith in my team.”

St. Paul’s already had lost Satchell when she fouled out in the fourth quarter, but the Gators twice took three-point leads in the four-minute overtime, the last coming on a Madison Beale layup for a 58-55 lead in the final minute.

Robinson cut it to 58-57 on a layup with 13.4 seconds remaining before the Gators then missed two free throws. Pikesville had a chance to win but Nakiya Bland missed from the left corner as time ran out, and St. Paul’s escaped with a hard-earned victory.

Pikesville also was hurt by foul trouble as forward/guard Sterling missed some long stretches, and the Panthers need her rebounding and shooting. When Sterling was out, the Panthers struggled on offense.

Still, Pikesville coach Michael Dukes saw some positives in this game as he wants the Panthers to improve as the season goes on, and a game like this gave them a good early-season test.

“[I was] definitely pleased with the fight back,” Dukes said. “They kept on fighting. We kind of know that our goal is to keep getting better.”

P - Robinson 21, Fisher 2, Barnes 2, Sterling 17, Moore 2, Roberts 13. Totals: 16 19-23 57.

S - Ryles 15, Sawyers 9, Johnson 8, Satchell 14, Cha 4, Kasten 2, Beale 6. Totals: 23 11-19 58. Half, SP, 24-16.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement