February 25, 2010

Top Seeded Mary Washington Closes out 2009-10 Spartan Season

FREDERICKSBURG, VA – The York College women’s basketball team closed out their 2009-2010 campaign Thursday evening, falling to host Mary Washington 75-61 in the semifinal round of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament. The talented Eagles improve their season mark to an impressive 21-4 while the Spartans end with a 12-15 record.

Despite the final 15-point margin, the Spartans posted an outstanding first half. York shot a strong 58.3 percent on 14-for-24 shooting over the first 20 minutes as the visitors held as much as an eight-point advantage at 30-22 with 6:51 remaining in the first.  

However, that lead would be short-lived as the Eagles finished the stanza on a 17-4 run, with seven of those points coming over the final 87 seconds. The Spartans held the lead at 34-30 with 1:30 remaining until the home squad blitzed the Green and White. At the 1:27 mark, Lauren Kornacki scored a layup before Jenna McRae knotted the game at 34-34 with 59 seconds on the clock. McRae then notched another lay-in with only 14 seconds showing to give the Eagles the lead for the first time since holding a 10-8 advantage at 14:36. That margin would quickly stretch to five however, as Rachel Martin canned a triple with a mere tick left on the clock to give the Eagles a 39-34 lead heading into halftime.

Mary Washington’s first half spurt spilled over into the second and continued throughout the latter 20 minutes. Within the first two minutes, the Eagles opened up an 11-point advantage at 47-36. The lead dipped back to single-digits only two more times, the last coming at 49-40 with 16:43 to play, as the Eagles kept the lead in the teens for a majority of the second half.

For the game, the Spartans shot 43.4 percent from the floor on 23-for-53 shooting. The second period proved a stark contrast to the first as the Green and White managed only 31 percent from the floor at a 9-for-29 clip, including 1-of-7 from deep. York did limit their turnovers in the semifinal, registering only 16, but were outrebounded 34-23.

Junior center Jaimie Sapp (Bluemont, Va./Loudoun Valley) paced the Spartans offensively as she totaled 14 points on an efficient 6-for-10 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Fellow junior April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) finished the game with 12 points as she currently stands at 1,145 points for her career with one more season yet to play. Gayle Exley (Spring City, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) was York’s third player in double-digits with 10 while senior captain Jamie Polan (York, Pa./West York) tallied nine points and six assists in her final collegiate outing.

In a mark of consistency, the Eagles posted 15-for-28 shooting performance, 53.6 percent, in each of the two halves. Mary Washington went 30-of-56 from the floor for the contest, including 8-of-17 from three.

Five Eagles tallied double-figures Thursday night led by Katie Wimmer’s 15 while she also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds. Kornacki posted 14 while McRae and Ashley Reed each tallied 12 points. Carol Dye was the fifth Eagle in double-digits with 10.

With the loss, the Spartans conclude their season and bid farewell to Polan, their lone senior this year. During her four campaigns, Polan helped the Green and White amass a 76-35 overall record, including a 43-19 mark in conference play. She also helped York make their first trip to the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Sweet 16 during the Spartans’ magical 2008-2009 season.

GAME BOX

Jamie Polan photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com