Tasha Townsend knew the development of Breaisa Coit would be the telltale for Western’s girls basketball this season. Coit has become an indomitable presence and the Doves’ bid for a second straight Class 4A state championship is getting stronger with each game.
No. 13 Western defeated Prince George’s County’s Charles H. Flowers, 53-42, in a state quarterfinal contest in Springdale in central Prince George’s.
Coit, a 5-foot-11 post, finished with 26 points to send the Doves back to the 4A state Final Four. Western will play Montgomery County’s Churchill, Tuesday or Wednesday at a site to be determined.
The Doves, who won their first state championship in nearly 30 years last season behind the dynamic backcourt of Ny’Ceara Pryor (Sacred Heart University) and Gabby Johnson (Morgan State) are two wins away from a repeat behind Coit’s burgeoning effectiveness as a rebounder and scorer in the paint.
“Breasia is the best big girl in this state,” Townsend said. “I don’t care who says something. Let somebody say something different.”
Coit made herself known early and often. She got the scoring started for the Doves with a layup underneath the basket. That became her signature move throughout the game on Friday night.
Western, getting out in transition, built an early 12-3 advantage after back-to-back scores from Coit, and Michaela Hammond made it 15-3 with a 3-pointer, stunning Flowers’ home crowd. The Jaguars responded, closing the margin to 23-22 at halftime.
“I was devastated in that first half,” Townsend said. “We had too many turnovers.”
Western reasserted itself to start the second half, Iyanna Bell and Coit got buckets in the paint. Jaden Hunt scored in transition. Gray and Coit scored again.
In an instant, Western was up 33-23.
The Doves were never threatened as Coit scored consecutive baskets in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 49-35. Western gained its largest margin, 52-37, on Kennedy Fowlkes’ late free throw.
Last season, the Doves relied heavily on seniors Johnson, Pryor and Kortni McMurray. Though Coit has emerged this season, Townsend has a short bench.
“We don’t have a one-man show,” Townsend said. “Whatever drives us at the moment is what we go for. It depends on who’s clicking on that day.”
With another state championship very much in play, Western has a game-by-game mentality.
“I just want (the team) to keep playing hard,” Townsend said. “If it’s for us, it’s for us.”
CLASS 4A STATE QUARTERFINAL
NO. 13 WESTERN 53, CHARLES H. FLOWERS 42
Western - Maya Gray 8, Kennedy Fowlkes 7, Breasia Coit 26, Jaden Hunt 4, Iyanna Bell 2, Michaela Hammonds 5. Totals 23 6-14 53.
Flowers - Kristen Harris 22, Kyla Graham 1, McKenzie Stewart 7, Kalise Evans 4, Yasmine Tyndell 8. Totals 14 11-21 42.
Western 15 8 16 12— 53
Flowers 9 13 7 12 — 42
MPSSAA GIRLS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
No. 1 Forest Park 50, No. 8 Boonsboro 16
No. 2 Pikesville 59, No. 7 Coppin Academy 17
No. 1 Kent Island 46, No. 8 Liberty 39
No. 2 Williamsport 65, No. 7 Gwynn Park 33
No. 3 Lackey 66, No. 6 Eastern Tech 29
No. 4 Hereford 37, No. 5 Harford Tech 24
No. 1 Oxon Hill 44, No. 8 Damascus 26
No. 2 Howard 63, No. 7 Towson 20
No. 3 St. Charles 51, No. 6 River Hill 48
No. 4 Poly 59, No. 5 Oakdale 42
No. 1 Glen Burnie 73, No. 8 Einstein 24
No. 2 Churchill 60, No. 7 Parkdale 43
No. 6 Western 53, No. 3 Charles H. Flowers 42
No. 5 Severna Park 52, No. 4 Urbana 49
No. 6 Patterson Mill at No. 3 CMIT North
No. 5 Mountain Ridge at No. 4 Snow Hill
Tuesday & Wednesday
*Semifinal sites will be APGFCU Arena at Harford Community College, Montgomery Blair (Montgomery County), Richard Montgomery (Montgomery County), North Point (Charles County), Paint Branch (Montgomery County) and Henry A. Wise (Prince George’s County)
*Day/Time for semifinal games to be decided after completion of state quarterfinal games
Forest Park vs. Mountain Ridge/Fort Hill winner
Pikesville vs. Patterson Mill/CMIT North winner
Hereford vs. Kent Island
Lackey vs. Williamsport
Oxon Hill vs. Poly
St. Charles vs. Howard
Severna Park vs. Glen Burnie
Western vs. Churchill