CLASS 3A STATE GIRLS’ BASKETBALL SEMIFINAL
Howard (20-5) vs. Frederick (21-4)
When: Thursday, 9 p.m.
Where: The RAC, University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Path to the RAC
Howard defeated Northeast (67-15), Reservoir (44-28) and Centennial (54-43) to win East Region; Frederick defeated Tuscarora (74-64), Watkins Mill (62-47) and Damascus (68-57) to win West Region
Scoring: Howard-Simone Wise (10.6 points per game); Frederick-Lauren Tolson (19 ppg.)
Rebounds: Howard-Caitlin Ciniero (6.6 rpg.); Frederick-India Dotson (8 rpg.)
Assists: Howard-Wise (4.4 apg.); Frederick-Lynasia Frazier (4 apg.)
Total Blocks: Howard-Alauna Jackson (120); Frederick-Dotson (22)
After a 15-year absence, Howard returns to the state public’s biggest stage. Under first-year coach Scott Robinson, who guided Mount Hebron to the Class 2A crown a couple of seasons ago, the Ellicott City school methodically pulled away from Centennial in the region finals last Saturday.
Simone Wise had a game-high 20 points in the Centennial’s win, and the Lions got major contributions from Brittany Butler, Alauna Jackson and reserve Bailey Benz. Four of Howard’s losses came against Glenelg and Oakland Mills, who were the top two in the Howard County league.
Frederick clinched its first Final Four berth since 1999 with its elimination of Damascus. The Cadets opened up a 22-point first half lead as Rachel Johnson (20 points), Lauren Tolson (19), Lynsia Frazier (16) and Jasmine Tolson (11) finished in double figures.
The Cadets featured an athletic frontline featuring a trio of 5-foot-10 performers in Jazmin Tolson, Kelsey Dyson and Amisha Barnes. The Lions will encounter with Jackson (6-0), Ciniero (5-10) and junior April Kuhn (5-9).
Howard’s Scott Robinson on Frederick: “They’re very athletic, they can run, they can trap. They’ve beaten Poly and City, they’ve played Urbana [4A state finalist]. They’re a formidable foe.
Frederick’s Keivette Hammond on Howard: “They’re well coached and have some strong outside and inside play.”
By the numbers
15-State Final Four appearances by Howard County girls’ program since Howard’s last appearance
3-Number of times Howard held an opponent to 19 points in a game
4-Number of times Frederick scored 69 points in a game
1-Number of wins for Frederick in 2005-06, Hammond’s first season
57-Points scored by Wise in postseason