For the second consecutive year, the Joppatowne Mariners sat atop the UCBAC girls’ basketball scene, this time defeating the 19-1 Harford Tech Lady Cobras in a 63-50 Conference title game, Wednesday, at Edgewood High School.
The Cobras hung tough with the defending conference, region and state champions, seeing a tied score after the first quarter, 15-15, but the championship experience of Joppatowne helped the team pull away throughout the game to the 13-point final.
“We hadn’t practiced since Thursday, so we were a little our of sync,” Joppatowne coach Michael Harris said. “We kept our composure when Jones sprained her ankle and Malloy fouled out, so with that I am pleased, but we were out of sync.”
Before going out of the game, Zameria Jones laced 14 points before leaving early in the third quarter, and finished her eight-point game before fouling out.
The Mariners notched 20 points in the second quarter, seeing a long three-pointer from Pez Scott and performances at the line by Jones and Tyanna White, and added another 15 points in the third with Shakara Head leading the pack in an eight-point quarter.
“We practiced it. We practice all situations and the girls generally respond,” Harris said. “They have been in ever type of game, so they really don’t panic.”
The Cobras hung tough with the state champs, never reporting scores under double digits in each quarter, and outscored the Mariners in the fourth, 15-13.
“I am proud of the way we played,” Tech coach Steve Tanribilir said. “The girls have been playing each game to get better. You need a month to prepare for a team like that anyway.
“But I was proud of the way our girls played. Hopefully, this will get us ready for the state tournament.”
Allanah Galloway finished the night with 13 points for the Cobras, while three-point artist Maria Kalambihis racked-up 12 points with two buckets from beyond the arc.
“We didn’t really focus on wins and losses, we focused on getting better everyday,” Tanribilir said of Cobras’ regular season. And there is still time left.”
“We need to continue to practice well and come out with intensity. Joppatowne showed a little bit more championship experience down the stretch, and those are things we can look at on film and work on in practice.”
Harford Tech went through the regular season 19-1, running through the Susquehanna Division with a perfect 14-0 record, and the loss to Joppatowne in the UCBAC finals came against a team who has accomplished the highest honor in the 2009-2010 season.
“Harford tech is the one-seed, so we have to get through their place, but we just have to fix our execution,” Harris said of the upcoming state tournament. “We took a little break after the last game, and we just have to get dialed in and make sure that we are executing properly.
“We always say the season is going to end in tears of joy or tears of pain.”
Joppatowne 63, Harford Tech 50
JT 15 20 15 13 — 63
HT 15 10 10 15 — 50