McHENRY, MD – It wasn't like the Lady Lakers were in danger of losing Saturday's women's basketball game against visiting Potomac State College. It's just that Garrett College's 15-point halftime lead came despite a sluggish, first-half performance.
The Lady Lakers fixed that in the second half, exploding for 63 points after the break in their final game of the regular season. Chaunte McDowell had 23 of her game-high 32 points in the second half as Garrett (21-4 overall, 11-1 Region XX) prepped for the regional tournament with a 104-46 rout.
"We picked up our intensity in the second half," said Garrett head coach Roy Boggess, whose squad finished its home season with a 10-2 mark. "It's tough when you have a one-week break, play a game, and then have another week off. It's hard to get going."
Boggess said the decision to stop switching defenses played a role in the second-half surge.
"In the first half we were switching defenses a lot," said Boggess. "In the second half, we decided to play man-to-man and have each player focus on stopping their man."
That certainly worked as the Lady Lakers held Potomac State to just 20 second-half points.
While McDowell led everyone in scoring, three of her teammates posted double-doubles. Mia-Alexis Lloyd (17 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds) finished two boards short of a triple-double while Hannah Henderson (18 points, 11 rebounds) and LeAsia Pennant (13 points, 11 rebounds) notched the other double-doubles.
Nicole Pysell drained four treys for her 12 points as five Lakers reached double figures. All nine Lakers were in the scoring column after Skylar Ferguson scored in the waning seconds to the delight of her teammates.
"Skylar's one of our softball players – she's never played basketball before," said Boggess. "Everyone on the team gets excited when she scores. She's come a long way this season."
Katelynn Tichnell scored a team-high 21 points for Potomac State, including 11 in the first quarter as the Catamounts stayed within 24-15. McDowell had 6 second-quarter points to help the Lakers extend their lead to 41-26 at the break and then exploded for 15 third-quarter points as Garrett put the game out of reach.
The Lakers reached 100 points for the eighth time this season and scored at least 90 for the 12th time in 25 games. Garrett also used the win to sweep the home-and-home season series with Potomac State, having handed the Catamounts a 97-59 loss in Keyser last month.
Garrett is off until March 10-12 when the Lakers participate in the NJCAA Division II Region XX tournament at Howard Community College. The winner of that tournament advances to the national tournament.