LIONS

Record Observer - - SPORTS -

A quick, 8-0 run to start the quar­ter pushed Eas­ton ahead, 31-26, the Lions go­ing

0 for 5 from the floor dur­ing the same stretch. Queen Anne’s broke the drought on back-to-back run­ners in the paint by Blan­chard, both buck­ets as­sisted by Shan­non Dono­van, shav­ing the War­riors’ lead to 31-30.

With 2 min­utes, 48 sec­onds re­main­ing in the third, Hill con­verted two at the line at the end of a steal and fast­break, the Lions re­gain­ing the edge, 32-31.

Eas­ton re­gained the lead on Roser’s bas­ket in­side off

an Emily Grif­fith as­sist, but the quar­ter ended with As­cione nail­ing a leaner from three-point range at the buzzer, the Ca­vanagh dish lo­cat­ing the se­nior on the right el­bow un­marked.

The Lions’ bench erupted and loud ap­plause scat­tered around the lively gym­na­sium mo­men­tar­ily hushed the Eas­ton con­tin­gent, an en­er­getic bunch push­ing along its young War­riors.

“We knew if we kept shoot­ing, good things will come around,” Kern said. “Emma hit a cou­ple of good shots, Madi­son at the end of the third quar­ter hit a huge shot, and we’re shoot­ing the ball bet­ter than we have all year.”

Ca­vanagh net­ted eight points and snagged seven re­bounds for the Lions, while se­nior Emily Poad snared a team-high eight boards and made two blocks. Queen Anne’s fin­ished 15 of 40 from the floor and won the re­bound­ing bat­tle, 38-36 while cut­ting down on turnovers in

the sec­ond half (eight af­ter the break, 20 to­tal).

Jeter fin­ished with a game­high 10 re­bounds to go with six points and two steals, while Emily Grif­fith cor­ralled eight boards, Emma Skoglund chipped in five points, eight boards and three as­sists.

“We ab­so­lutely had to spend some en­ergy try­ing to get back into the game,” coach Grif­fith said. “Fa­tigue, or what­ever it may have been, there were shots we nor­mally make that we didn’t make.”

Eas­ton’s com­bined 32 wins the last two sea­sons are the most since the 1993 state cham­pi­onship team pow­ered by Kel­ley Gib­son, went 25-1, and fol­lowed up with a ti­tle de­fense in 1994, the back-to-back 1A cham­pi­onships be­ing the only ones in pro­gram his­tory.

Grif­fith, com­plet­ing his first sea­son as head coach af­ter two as an as­sis­tant, grad­u­ates only Pritch­ett, Skoglund and re­serve Jada

Mur­ray from the var­sity, and dressed six un­der­class­men against the Lions.

“We’re very young, and tonight we had three fresh­men on the floor for a good ma­jor­ity of the game,” Grif­fith said. “The way they bat­tled and com­peted this year, it’s just been re­mark­able. You look at the progress from the be­gin­ning of the sea­son to now, it’s just been tremen­dous.

“I think we made a pact as the coaches when we all joined up and said, “Let’s get bas­ket­ball go­ing back in the right di­rec­tion’,” Grif­fith added of his as­sis­tants Jen Pow­ell and Kur­isha Hoff­man. “We’re look­ing for­ward to the next cou­ple of years, when you look at the fresh­men we have and the sopho­mores and ju­niors that are all com­ing back, and sev­enth and eighth graders that are go­ing to be com­ing up, we’re all ex­cited for the fu­ture.”

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Ay­man_S­tarDem. Email me at aalam@star­dem.com

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