Fishwrap Archive

Potomac News
&
Manassas Journal Messenger
March 8, 2003

Bruins' hearts
broken

By DAVE LAWRENCE
Special to the Potomac News
& Manassas Journal Messenger

ASHLAND -- Forest Park coach Chrissy Kelly may not realize it, but her Bruins played their hearts out.

Their hearts may also have been broken after Monica Wright's apparent game-winning shot was ruled after the buzzer leaving them one point shy of Atlee, 46-45, in the Group AAA state tournament quarterfinals.

It may have been a time for tears, but not one for bitterness.

Kelly, however, was critical of her Forest Park girls. As far as she was concerned, the Bruins didn't do what she told them to do, so they lost.

Atlee "obviously listened to their coach, and we didn't," she said. The Bruins (24-4) jumped to a four-point lead early in the fourth quarter, and were in control of the game, but as the Raiders fought back, Kelly asked for a more aggressive defense.

"I told them to not give up the three," said Kelly, but a 3-point goal by Atlee's Lindsey Henley cut Forest Park's lead to one point, then a 3-pointer by Jessica Hutt put the Raiders (28-0) ahead with 12.5 seconds left in the game.

"I told them to foul," Kelly said, "and they don't foul." The only time a Raider -- Henley -- made it to the foul line in the fourth quarter, however, she converted both free throws.

"It was our game to lose," said Kelly, "and we gave it away."

Or, maybe, it was that Atlee didn't give up.

Hutt certainly didn't.

"I was cold the whole game," Hutt said, before mentioning something about the broad side of a barn. But when the game was on the line, she drained the 3-pointer -- no rim, no bounce, just a swish.

"I don't know what it was about that shot," Hutt said. "But whatever it was, was."

The Raiders elation was short-lived, however, when the referees stopped play to add six seconds to the clock to give the Bruins 12.5 seconds to come back.

They almost did.

Two shots bounced off the rim before Wright's shot got the Bruins' bench and fans cheering. But the moment ended in confusion and shock as the referee ran toward the scoring table yelling, "No shot! No shot!"

"It was just our night," said Atlee coach Curt Kassab. "Both teams were playing with such intensity.

"They played a great game," Kassab said of the Bruins. "They're a great team. We're mirror images of each other."

DeCarol Davis led Forest Park with 12 points. Courtney Portell scored 11 for the Bruins.

Narissa Suber led Atlee with 12 points, followed by Michele Cosel with 11 points and Henley with 10.

Atlee will face Hampton, a 47-25 winner over Lake Braddock in the state semifinals Friday at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

David Lawrence is a correspondent for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch
March 8, 2003

'No shot!'
- Atlee advances

6 seconds added,
Forest Park too late

By DAVE LAWRENCE
Times-Dispatch correspondent

Atlee coach Curt Kassab might need to call a cardiologist.

His Raiders, and their opponent, Forest Park, came as close to giving him a heart attack as they could -- but even in the worst-case scenario, he would have died happy.

It's a good thing he didn't, however. The Raiders have more work to do this season as they squeaked past the Bruins 46-45 in the VHSL Group AAA girls basketball quarterfinals.

Atlee (28-0) will face Hampton, a 47-25 winner over Lake Braddock, in the state semifinals Friday at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

So what could have given Kassab -- or any Raiders fan -- such cardiac distress?

The Raiders trailed by four points early in the fourth quarter. The Bruins (24-4) seemed in control. But a 3-point goal by Lindsey Henley cut Forest Park's lead to one, then a 3-pointer by Jessica Hutt put the Raiders ahead with 12.5 seconds left in the game.

It seemed that Forest Park had 6.5 seconds left, but the referees added 6 seconds to the clock. The Bruins almost capitalized on their 12.5-second opportunity. Two shots bounced off the rim before Monica Wright sank an apparent game-winner at the buzzer.

The Bruins' bench and fans started cheering. But their elation turned to confusion and shock as the referee ran toward the scoring table yelling "No shot! No shot!"

Wright's shot was too late.

"It was just our night," said Kassab. "Both teams were playing with such intensity. They played a great game," Kassab said of the Bruins. "They're a great team. We're mirror images of each other."

What turned out to be the winning shot came from a broken play. The plan was to go inside to Narissa Suber, and she managed to get inside but Forest Park's staunch defense offered no opportunity to shoot. The ball found its way to Hutt. She was wide open, but it hadn't appeared to be the best night to put the game in her hands.

"I was cold the whole game," Hutt said, before saying something about the broad side of a barn. But she drained the 3-pointer -- no rim, no bounce, just a swish.

"I don't know what it was about that shot," Hutt said. "But whatever it was, was."

Her warm and fuzzy feeling dissipated after the referees nearly doubled the time remaining in the game, however. The Bruins bench had called a timeout, but the clock had not been stopped quickly enough.

"We were sitting on the bench and all we were thinking about was defense," Hutt said. "Coach [Kassab] says all the time that defense wins games."

The defense had seemed a bit shaky, however, as Wright's short jumper sailed through the net.

"My heart sank," Hutt said of her reaction to the apparent basket. "I looked straight at the ref, that's when I saw his hands waving. I just let everything out."

Laughs, tears, yells and hugs came from the Atlee bench, shock and sobs from Forest Park's bench.

Kassab was struggling at first to process what had just happened.

"Unbelievable," he said.