Cumberland Times-News

March 12, 2014

Southern takes on Mardela today at 3

Second-seeded Rams making second-straight tourney trip

Mike Burke
Cumberland Times-News

— TOWSON — Patience is a virtue Southern Garrett head coach Danny Bosley says his West Region champions are in full possession of. It’s how they play their game and it’s how they will approach their second straight appearance in the Maryland 1A girls basketball state tournament today, 3 p.m., when they take on Mardela of Wicomico County in one semifinal at Towson University’s SECU Arena.

The Lady Rams (20-4) make their ninth appearance in the Maryland state tournament, this year as the No. 2 seed, and will face the No. 3 Mardela Lady Warriors (24-1), who preach the virtues of defense and rebounding, yet have still managed to average 89 points in its three East Region tournament games.

The winner will face the winner of the National Academy-New Town semifinal that takes place at 5 p.m. The 1A state championship game will be Saturday at 6 p.m.

The Warriors, coached by Kesha Cook, breezed to their second straight state tournament appearance as well, rolling past Crisfield, 88-31, in the East quarterfinals, Pocomoke, 79-52, in the semifinal, and Havre de Grace, 101-13 in the final.

For Havre de Grace, it was an instance of entering a bad situation and seeing it become progressively worse, being hit with a pair of technical fouls in falling behind 20-5 through the first quarter, 50-7 at the half and 74-11 at the end of the third. Mardela would close the game by outscoring Havre de Grace, 27-2, in the fourth quarter.

 “I told them this is the game that everybody plays for,” Cook told the Delmarva Daily Times. “We had to come out hard and play great defensively, and we did that together as a team.”

Senior Shakema Dashiell got the Warriors out of the gates, dropping in pull-up jumpers from the start in finishing the game with 26 points. Already ahead by 43 points to start the second half, Mardela, led by Briana Cook, Dymond Trader and Taylor Ross’ pressing defense, forced even more Havre de Grace turnovers and converted them into baskets at the other end.

“We had to be aggressive and did everything together as a team and were able to pull off a great win tonight,” Cook said.

Demyra Selby had 23 points, Cook 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Ross 12 points.

“They are a very good team that can do a lot of things and are very athletic,” Bosley said after his Rams defeated Manchester Valley, 52-38, for the West Region title. “We’ve seen them run a 2-3 zone, but we’ll have to see how they come out against us.”

The Rams are likely to utilize their patience to establish the game tempo in their favor by doing what they do best, using their inside game to open up their outside game as they did against Manchester Valley.

Inside, Alicia Roth and Lauren Francillon combined to score more than half of Southern’s points (30) and grab the majority of its rebounds (22) against Manchester Valley. Roth, a first-team Times-News All-Area selection last season, scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds. Francillon had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Southern, which led for all but 1:59 of the game, took the lead for good when Francillon scored with two seconds left in the first quarter to make it 13-12.

From the outside, Kambrie Bosley and Kamrin Weimer hit open shots as the post players continued to pound away in building the halftime lead to 34-16. Weimer, the freshman guard, finished with eight points on three field goals and Bosley hit two 3-pointers to add six.

“We know that our strengths are on the inside and we’re not shy about getting it into those girls,” Bosley said, “but we never want to force it inside and I‚Äąthink that’s where we’re strongest as a team.

“We run a lot of high screens and set plays to find ways to get inside, but we pick our spots. We don’t just throw it in and hope we get the ball. We’ll reverse the flow around the floor and try to get another look. Patient is the right word for us. We know exactly what we want to do, but we are in no rush to do it.”

The Rams fell to Western Tech, 45-40, in last year’s semifinals. Western went on to defeat Dunbar in the final after the Poets had beaten Mardela in the other semifinal. Southern won the state championship in 2004 and 2007.

Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at mburke@times-news.com.