Howard means business with a semi-final win: knowing the next game is key.



Howard’s celebration of Tuesday’s Maryland 3A girls basketball state semifinal victory lasted all of 10 seconds. The group gathered for a quick cheer, laughing and smiling before calmly presenting the hearing.

The lions were early. It will be remembered that the team reached this stage last season and advanced to the final after prevailing in the semi-final game. But last season’s finale brought heartbreak with a loss to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, a loss Howard will look to avenge after getting past Waldorf 67-31 at St. Charles on Friday.

“We have a chance to get back to a team that took advantage of us with this win,” sophomore Megan Jarnevich said.

The outcome of Tuesday’s game at North Point High was never in question — the Lions’ fightback against St. Charles (23-4) ended at halftime. A 25-point second quarter outburst by senior Gabby Kennerly gave Howard (25-1) a 28-point lead going into the break.

Kennerly and Jarnevich combined to score 42 of the team’s 67 points before the break and the Lions’ bench took to the court late in the game.

The result was largely expected: Howard beat the Spartans 61-39 earlier in the season. The Lions now turn their attention to the state title, a feat the program hasn’t accomplished since 1994, when they lost to Poly last year, 60-37, in the title game.

Howard continues to be the standard, and now he just needs a title

“We know what to expect; last year we didn’t really know what we were going into,” senior Jenna Vetter said. “This year, going into it, it’s like a different attitude, so it’s really encouraging to want to beat them.”

Kennerly praised her team’s preparation for Friday’s return game at the Xfinity Center. The senior said the Lions are set for a more difficult regular season slate with strong wins over Pallotti and California’s Bonita Vista.

“I think everyone is looking forward to the opportunity,” coach Scott Robinson said. “We feel like we can do a lot more than last year, but we have a lot of respect as a program.”

In the other semifinal, Oxon Hill fell to Poly, 53-24. The Clippers went into halftime leading by two points, but the size of the Engineers proved too much.

The Clippers (22-4) scored just six points in the second half, all from junior Madison Williams in the third quarter.

The loss ended a season that exceeded coach Devon Williams’ expectations. The Clippers — whose starting lineup consists of a junior and four sophomores — finished atop Prince George’s County and also won a regional title.

“I’m really excited for the next couple of years to get the experience of playing these kids in a county championship game,” Williams said.

Damascus, the children of Largo went forward

In boys action, Damascus defeated Frederick 53-50 to advance to the 3A finals, where it will play City College on Thursday. Senior Peter Mangan scored 18 points to lead the Swarmin Hornets (25-2).

In the 2A semifinals, Largo beat Walkersville 64-62 behind 25 points from dynamic sophomore Cam Ward, who hit three free throws in the final seconds to give the Lions the lead. Largo (21-6) plays New City on Thursday.

Both games will be at the Xfinity Center in College Park.


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