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MDJUCO Women's Basketball Tournament: Fighting Owls Soar Past Panthers for 5th Straight Title

MDJUCO Women's Basketball Tournament: Fighting Owls Soar Past Panthers for 5th Straight Title

By Mario Diaz and Taylor Moore

Hagerstown, Md. – Harford used a second quarter run and 46-point second half performance to defeat Baltimore City 91-55 today to win its fifth consecutive and the final Maryland Juco Women's Basketball Tournament title.

The win also extends Harford's Maryland Juco win streak to 81 games under head coach Mike Seney.

"It means a lot," said Seney. "I'm fortunate enough to get really good players here year in and year out. No matter how good of a coach you may think you are, you have to have talent, and I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of talent of the past few years. Five straight [Maryland Juco] Championships is a testimony to what we've had."

Tournament MVP Dahnye Redd finished with a game-high 26 points (10-20) and 14 rebounds for Harford, picking up her 27th double-double in 30 games this season. She registered a double-double in all three games, averaging 19 points and 13.7 rebounds per game.

"She's special," Seney said about Redd. "I've been fortunate enough to coach a lot of special student athletes, but there's something about Dahnye. Her motor doesn't stop. She's so coachable and a great person all around."

Ayanna Mazyck was selected to the All-Tournament Team and finished with 13 points (5-11), six rebounds and two steals.

Alexus King also made the All-Tournament Team and provided 12 points (4-12) off the bench.

Harford trailed for the first time all weekend – 19-17 – at the end of the first quarter.

After falling behind 4-0, Baltimore went on a 14-5 run to take the lead 14-9.

Baltimore really crashed the boards, out rebounding Harford 7-3 in the first six minutes, which led to six second chance points.

The Panthers finished the first frame ahead 8-4 in second chance points.

"I knew [Baltimore City] would come out inspired," said Seney. "It's a championship game and they deserve to be here. They had their run and I knew if we could lock up defensively that we'd be fine.

The second quarter was all Harford, as they attacked the offensive glass, preventing Baltimore City from extending its lead.

The Fighting Owls began the second quarter with multiple three pointers in route to a 13-4 run to take the lead midway through the second. 

Harford's defense woke up, forcing Baltimore City to turn the ball over and commit fouls.

The physicality was apparent in the first half, as the teams combined for 18 fouls.

Redd finished the first half with 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Entering the third quarter leading 46-35, the top seeded Fighting Owls looked to keep the pressure on their second seeded opponent.

The two teams have become familiar in this situation, as it marked the fourth consecutive year they met in the finals.

Baltimore City was able to get open looks early, but struggled, missing 11 straight shots to start the second half.

Harford took advantage and opened the half on a 11-0 run.

Both teams continued to play physical, but Harford's quickness led to transition points on six early Panthers' turnovers.

Baltimore City scored its first point of the half with 5:02 remaining in the third.

Harford effectively spread the ball around with eight players scoring throughout the quarter.

Entering the 4th quarter down 70-42, the Panthers were determined to remain physical, but Harford's offense was too strong.

The Fighting Owls continued to spread the ball around on offense and collected their own misses to add to its lead, which reached as many as 39.

Harford outscored Baltimore 46-20 in the second half to capture the final Maryland Juco Women's Basketball Championship.

"It feels so good," said Redd. "The main reason I'm producing the way I am this year is because of everything I went through last year [being out with an injury]. That and my teammates. It's a secure feeling having the teammates I have. Everyone has an off game, and I know when I have an off game, my teammates have my back."

Baltimore City's Raelyn Muldrow and Vivian Chigbu were also named to the All-Tournament Team.