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Cole's redemption lifts SJPH

January 22, 2002

Cole's redemption lifts SJPH



By DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK. Md. - St. John's at Prospect Hall forward Kenan Cole thought she had already redeemed herself. Apparently, Chapelgate Christian believed otherwise.

CONTINUED

In the teams' first game on Dec. 7, Cole went to the line for two free throws with her team trailing by one in the waning moments. She missed both - but a teammate got the ball back hit the game-winning shot to bail her out.

Monday afternoon against the Flames, she needed no help, coolly draining both ends of a 1-and-1 with 7 seconds to play and giving the No. 2 Vikings a 61-58 victory.

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"I missed those free throws in the first game, but Jen Baker picked it up for us," Cole said said of the 60-58 win in December. "But in our Christmas tournament, I made the free throws to give us the win. So I just thought about that."

Cole's charity shots were the final momentum swing in a game between the top two teams in the IAAM B Division. SJPH (16-2, 11-0) nearly wasted a 14-point lead with nine minutes to play until Cole saved the day.

"I never thought this would be a blowout," SJPH coach Tammy Webster said. "I knew it would be a fight. I told them, no matter the score, the game was not over 'til the final buzzer."

The teams were tied 21-21 after an entertaining first 11 minutes, but Chapelgate (13-4, 9-2) scored the next seven points in 35 seconds for a 28-21 lead.

The Vikings responded with a 22-3 run, holding the Flames to just one 3-point basket in the next 12:43 for a 46-31 lead. On the run, SJPH forward Marta Merkel took control on both ends of the floor. She had seven rebounds, five points and four assists and, along with Baker, shut down Chapelgate point guard Heather Landis.

"She had to play the '4' today with Monnie (Merkel) in foul trouble," Webster said. "That's when she got the rebounds. Then she stepped back outside and did a good job on (Landis)."

It didn't last, though. Landis, who's maybe 5-foot-5 standing on the Frederick phone book, took over in the fourth quarter. The Vikings still led 57-45 with 2:22 to play, but Landis nailed a 3 from 26 feet, scored on a dribble-drive, found teammate Kristen Lynott for a 3 and hit two free throws to make it a 59-55 game with 40.6 seconds to play.

"She decided to take over the game, and she can do that," Webster said. "And we had trouble with their pressure the first game, too. In the end, I think we panicked a little."

After a SJPH miss, Chapelgate got a three-point play from Christy Groves for a one-point game and then fouled Cole. Landis got the ball on the final play, but her straight-on 3 at the buzzer caromed off the glass and just missed.

Marta Merkel finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Cole finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and a healthy dose of redemption against a team that has suddenly become the Vikings' archrival.

"We focused on just winning the game at the end," Cole said. "And yeah, we really wanted to beat them again today."

No. 2 SJPH 61, Chapelgate 58


CHAPELGATE (58)

Landis 22, K. Lynott 9, Greiger 9, Holtrop 3, Moraz 8, Groves 7. Totals 21-62 12-15 58.

SJPH (61)

Mo. Merkel 9, Schaus 8, Cole 21, Baker 7, Ma. Merkel 12, Rakich 4. Totals 23-57 14-20 61.

Chapelgate17111020-58

St. John's-PH17122111-61

Three-point goals-Chapelgate 6 (Landis 3, K. Lynott, Greiger, Holtrop), St. John's-PH 1 (Baker). Fouled Out-Mo. Merkel.

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