Cumberland Times-News

Basketball

March 8, 2014

Southern does it again!

Rams defeat Manchester Valley 52-38 to keep West Region championship, return to state tournament

HAGERSTOWN — Something felt awfully familiar with the Southern girls basketball team Saturday, but the Lady Rams are right at home with familiarity and are extremely satisfied with the status quo that comes with winning their second straight Maryland 1A West Region title.

The usual suspects of Alicia Roth and Lauren Francillon both had doubles-doubles playing in the paint, the familiar forms of Kambrie Bosley and Kamrin Weimer provided the long-range support and all of that added up to the standard result as the Rams beat a team they already topped earlier in the year when they bounced Manchester Valley from the playoffs, 52-38, on Saturday at Hagerstown Community College.

Roth and Francillon were  destructive to the Mavericks on defense and offense. The two combined to score more than half of Southern’s points (30) and grabbed the vast majority of its rebounds (22). Roth, a first-team Times-News All-Area selection last season, created the path inside for the Rams by scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Francillon finished with 13 points to go along with 10 rebounds.

Playing in its ninth Maryland State Tournament, Southern returns to the 1A semifinals on Wednesday when it plays Mardela at the SECU Arena at Towson University. The state finals are Saturday, 6 p.m., at Towson.

Southern opened with its most balanced scoring quarter where five different players scored and only Francillon had more than one field goal, and her second didn’t come until the final two seconds of the quarter on a shot that also gave the Rams the lead for good at 13-12.

The migration inside began to take place more in the second quarter when Francillon added another four points and Roth scored nine as the Rams ran away to a 34-16 lead at halftime.

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

“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.”

Patience not only set up the inside but found Weimer and Bosley open outside. Weimer, the freshman guard, finished with eight points on three field goals and Bosley hit two 3-pointers to add six. Bosley drained her first one completely wide open, but cooly dropped her second one with a defender in her face to stretch Southern’s lead to 34-16 at halftime.

Weimer sank a 3-pointer to start the scoring in the second half, but the third quarter wound up being the lowest scoring of the day with a combined 19 points. Roth scored four points during the third.

“Alicia can really play both guard and forward for us,” said coach Bosley. “We like to keep her inside because of her physical strength and the way she plays, but she also has great vision with the ball. She allows us to be flexible if we want to be.”

Manchester Valley’s Haile Houk began to step up her offense during the third and was about the only thing stopping the Rams from doing what they wanted in the paint. She not only led the Mavericks with 12 points, but led the team with 10 rebounds and also blocked two shots. Katie Walter added 10 points, including both of her team’s 3-pointers, and had five rebounds.

The Rams trailed for one minute and 59 seconds, all in the first quarter, and once Southern developed the way into the paint beginning in the second quarter it was more a matter of how big the margin of victory would be rather than if it could win.

Southern (20-4) and Manchester Valley had already played once this year when the Rams faced the Mavericks in the North Carroll Christmas Tournament and won 54-37. The score at the end of the first quarter then was 13-12, just like it was Saturday.

“Players aren’t stupid,” said Bosley. “We beat them before, and as soon as we started pulling away in the second quarter and by the time we got up 20 points in the third we had a let up. We didn’t finish as strong as we could have, but we did enough to win back-to-back region titles and that hasn’t happened very often for us.

“We’ll need to do better against Mardela. They are a very good team that can do a lot of things and are very athletic. We’ve seen them run a 2-3 zone, but we’ll have to see how they come out against us.”

Judging by the the score in their East Region finals the Warriors are more than ready for a crack at the Rams. Mardela won the championship by beating Havre de Grace 101-13 Saturday to improve to 24-1.

The Rams lost 45-40 to eventual 1A champion Western Tech in last year’s semifinals and have won 1A state titles as recently as 2007 and 2004.

Chris Appel is a sportswriter for the Times-News. Contact him at cappel@times-news.com.

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