Timberlane Owls Girls Basketball '07-'08

Wed, Feb 27, 2008 07:00 PM @ Timberlane
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Playoff Game Class L Tournament - Round 1
Bishop Guertin 13 8 7 10 38
Timberlane 10 11 10 14 45

Wheeler, Owls finish strong

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Thursday, February, 28 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

It took Timberlane senior Sam Wheeler awhile to get going last night. But, considering that she recently missed nearly two weeks of action with a bad case of bronchitis that bordered on pneumonia, that's understandable.

By the fourth quarter of the opening-round Class L tournament game, however, Wheeler was back in a groove as she led the No. 7-seed Owls to a 45-38 victory over stubborn Bishop Guertin. That advanced them to the quarterfinals against No. 2 Manchester Central at Southern New Hampshire University Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Held to one basket in the first quarter, Wheeler broke out with nine of her game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as Timberlane (13-6) finally pulled away.

Bishop Guertin (9-10) had dropped a 50-28 decision at Timberlane early last month, but it entered the game much improved. When the Cardinals connected on their first five shots to take a 10-2 lead, it looked like BG was headed for an upset.

"They were pressuring me pretty good, but I tried to stay calm and I knew we had three more quarters," said Wheeler. "I was a little out of shape when I came back (from the illness), but I think I'm back now. I felt good in the fourth quarter."

Until Wheeler broke loose in the fourth frame, the Owls clawed back with defense. After scoring the five straight baskets to start the game, Guertin was only 8 of 29 the rest of the contest and it was forced into turnovers at key points in the game.

After being deadlocked at halftime, 21-21, the Owls moved ahead 31-28 in the third quarter when Kristin Crotts scored five of her eight points. Guertin stayed close, however, and trailed by just one, 35-34, with three minutes remaining.

But sophomore Tianna Parolisi, who had missed her first three trifectas, connected on a 3-pointer to provide some breathing room and Wheeler converted 3 of 4 free throws and scored on a length-of-the-court, press-breaking drive to nail down the win. Just to make certain, Crotts had two steals and an offensive rebound in the closing two minutes to keep Guertin down.

"I don't think anyone had a great game, but they all had their moments," said Timberlane coach Bruce Johnson. "We had a lot of offensive breakdowns, but I was pleased with our defense.

"They've been scoring 50 points a game, so we obviously did a good job. Our goal was to hold them to 38 points or less and we did that."

Meghan Sciuto and Shannon Rose both had six points in the win, with Rose grabbing three offensive rebounds early on when the offense was struggling.

Kristina Hayner led Guertin with 15 points and Claire Donohue scored nine. Rachel Figaro of Pelham scored two points and played strong defense.

Timberlane will face a Manchester Central team it lost to 38-24 last month, a game in which Wheeler did not play. "I think we're evenly matched and it should be a really close game," said Wheeler.

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