Tartans Defense is Key in Win

By: Jim Dresbach
KENSINGTON, MD - The thievery and passing of Akilah Bethel, points from Lanay Montgomery and solid second half defense were the key ingredients in the Holy Cross Tartan's come-from-behind 50-39 victory Sunday afternoon against the Elizabeth Seton Roadrunners.

Montgomery followed an offensive rebound with a three-point play to give the Tartans their first lead of the game with three minutes and 49 seconds to play, and Bethel provided a pivotal spark with a pair of steals during a minute's span late in the fourth quarter to assist HC to gain an 11-point victory.

While Holy Cross was attempting the comeback, the Seton Roadrunners scored just 12 points in the second half and scored only one field goal during the last 16 minutes of play.

"In the second half, I thought we came out and played more as a team, especially on the defensive end," said Holy Cross coach Eddie Simpson. "Once we started playing great team defense, it allowed our offense to get into a groove."

After Montgomery put Holy Cross in front with her three-point play, Bethel, a University of West Virginia recruit, showed her groove at both ends of the court. The six-foot senior swiped a Roadrunner possession and fed Dominique Johnson for a fast break lay-up which put HC ahead 39-36. A minute later, Bethel again nabbed a steal and finished the break herself with a finger-roll lay-in that kept the pressure on the Seton offense.

"I felt we got the looks we were looking for," Seaton coach Jonathan Scruggs said of Seton's second half offense. "The shots just didn't fall. I told my kids that sometimes the ball just doesn't fall for you."

Seton guard Alyssa Albanese scored the Runner's (3-1, 1-1) lone field goal with a perimeter jumper with 5:10 remaining in the contest while Montgomery notched nine of her game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter.

"In the first half, I thought we lacked intensity," HC's Simpson said. "Seton came out and played extremely well. Coming off being the city title champs and WCAC champs, they came out and played like that."

Seton received a big boost from reserves Janelle Hubbard and Solita Parker during a physically-played second quarter. The pair combined to score 12 of the Roadrunner's 16 points before halftime as the visitors held a 27-20 lead at the break. Parker led Seton with nine points.