Hill caps 16-point ef­fort with two late threes; QA’s sea­son ends in loss to ri­val Buc­ca­neers

Record Observer - - SPORTS -

EAS­TON — The Lions ul­ti­mately re­mained an ocean of calm in a chaotic con­test.

Third-seeded Queen Anne’s County High’s girls’ basketball team sur vived a thriller Mon­day evening at No. 2 Eas­ton in the Class 2A East Sec­tion II semi­fi­nals, cut­ting down on turnovers in the fourth quar­ter and hit­ting a se­ries of clutch shots dur­ing a 51-46 vic­tor y.

“Their start­ing five is a great start­ing five,” said Lions head coach Mike Kern, whose team im­proved to 18-4. “We knew that if it was a tightly called game, which it was, that it would ben­e­fit us in the long run.

“They called it tight, and we’re pretty deep, and it helped us win the game,” Kern added.

The Lions’ prize for for the hard­fought win: a date with un­beaten, Bay­side Con­fer­ence cham­pion Kent Is­land, and Queen Anne’s sea­son ended at the hand of the ri­val Buc­ca­neers in the sec­tion fi­nal by a 46-38 score. The Lions fin­ished the sea­son with an 18-5 mark.

“Kent Is­land is a great team,” Kern said. “and we’re go­ing in with noth­ing to lose. We’re sup­posed to lose that game, so we have noth­ing to lose. We’re go­ing to play our hearts out, leave it all on the court, and hope­fully we can shock the Bay­side.”

Though the shoot­ing num­bers may tell a dif­fer­ent story, Queen Anne’s of­fense was sharp, and its de­fense solid against Eas­ton. Play- ing in the sec­tion opener, a rar­ity for the peren­nial Bay­side and 2A East con­tenders, af­forded a nice tune-up con­test be­fore fac­ing the re­gion heavy­weights.

“We mixed it up a lit­tle bit [against Eas­ton],” Kern said. “We did a lit­tle bit of full-court press, we did a lit­tle man, we did a lit­tle zone, and then a lit­tle half-court, and the foul trou­ble we were in forced us to do that.

“We gained some con­fi­dence af­ter Park­side,” Kern added of Fri­day’s 57-13 clob­ber­ing of the Rams. “We lost to Kent Is­land [in the reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale] and you want to have a game like that to get some con­fi­dence, so I think that helped, versus hav­ing the bye when you don’t play.”

The Lions pulled away late in the fourth quar­ter against Eas­ton be­hind se­nior point guard Emma Hill, who fin­ished with a team-high 16 points and nailed two, clutch three­p­oint­ers in the de­cid­ing pe­riod.

Her first trey, a swish from the right side, gave Queen Anne’s the lead for good at 40-38. Less than a minute later, Hill struck again, con­nect­ing off a Kelly Ca­vanagh as­sist to make it 43-38.

Eas­ton ju­nior El­lie Roser (14 points) closed the gap to 43-40 af­ter rolling in a jumper from the

PHOTO BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

Queen Anne’s County’s Abby Blan­chard (32) and Eas­ton’s Emily Grif­fith bat­tle for a re­bound Mon­day night while Emma Skoglund, left, and Becca Clay (22) watch.

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