Brown Leads Hurricanes To Their 1st District Title

Posted: March 09, 1992

Angie Brown is a track star at Villa Maria, so the sophomore guard likes the Villa basketball team to play at a sprinter's pace.

"Our strong point is our fastbreak," Brown understated after the Hurricanes blew past Gwynedd-Mercy, 54-34, for the District 1 Class AAA title Saturday. "If we get our fastbreak going, we feel we have the advantage."

The Hurricanes (19-7) had their fastbreak going Saturday at Wissahickon High School against the top-seeded team in the tournament.

In the middle of it all was Brown, who scored 15 points, pulled down 7 rebounds, had 2 steals and put on a pretty fair imitation of Carl Lewis with a basketball.

"She's the best athlete we've seen all year," Gwynedd coach Ed Holzer said. "You can't let her get a half-step in front of you because she's four steps in front of you by the time she reaches the basket."

Villa, seeded third in the tournament, wasn't half-stepping early in the first quarter against the Monarchs (21-6).

The Hurricanes applied a stifling press, hit their first four shots and roared to a 17-5 lead.

"Coach (Kathy McCartney) told us we had to come out strong," Villa forward Nikki Carter said. "We needed to build a lead in the beginning."

As usual, Villa's defense keyed its offense. The Hurricanes forced 7 turnovers in the first quarter and 20 in the game. Villa wound up making 22 of 44 shots from the floor, many coming on easy layups following steals.

"Defense is what we do," McCartney said. "We're OK in a half-court offense, but we really do well when we get out and run."

Villa's running game bogged down late in the first quarter and early in the second.

Not coincidentally, defensive catalysts Brown and Carter were on the bench for much of that time with two fouls apiece.

The Monarchs crept to within one, 17-16, on Kristen Hines' jumper with 5 minutes, 17 seconds left in the first half.

Villa needed a new heroine to step forward, and 5-foot, 9-inch senior center Mary Helen Kirby came off the bench to fill the role.

Kirby started an 11-0 Hurricane run with a rebound basket. She scored on two more rebounds and a foul shot before intermission, giving Villa a 28-16 lead at the half.

"She did a super job," McCartney said.

"She got good position, she rebounded and she finished well."

"I just tried to go in and do my best," Kirby said. "Whatever happened happened."

The Hurricanes were not satisfied, however. Brown started the third quarter with a steal and layup. Two layups by Mary Eileen Duffy and Brown's three- point play gave the Hurricanes a 37-16 lead and squeezed all of the competitiveness out of the game.

"We definitely didn't want to get in a running game with them," Holzer said later.

Brown left the Monarchs little choice.

As a freshman track star at Villa, she finished fifth in the state in the long jump and helped the Hurricanes finish second in the state in the 1,600- meter relay.

As a sophomore basketball standout, Brown will lead the Hurricanes into their second straight state tournament on Saturday. Villa went as a fourth- place finisher last year. The Hurricanes were jubilant Saturday after claiming what McCartney said was the first district title in any sport in school history.

"Words can't describe the way I feel," McCartney said.

"We lost the Catholic Academies league championship (to Mount St. Joseph)," Carter added.

"Winning the district title makes up for it."

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