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Railroaders' switch nets a victory

January 21, 1997

By BOB PARASILITI

Staff Writer

SMITHSBURG - With stakes this high, Brunswick was willing to gamble on Monday night.

The Railroaders put it all on the line - their No. 3 ranking in Maryland's Class 1A poll against Smithsburg's No. 10 slot - by playing two risks. Brunswick broke even, but won in the long run.

Smithsburg ran Brunswick out of its game-opening man defense and into a zone, allowing the Railroaders to rely on inside strength of Jami Savage to pull away to a 65-49 Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory.

"We play a pretty nice man defense but Smithsburg is a quick team," Brunswick coach Bill Martin said. "We gambled and opened the game with it. We got out of it quick once they started beating us down the floor."

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Smithsburg jumped out quickly and owned a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter behind six points by Carey Brennan. The Leopards (6-5, 4-5) forced Brunswick into Risk No. 2, a combination of zone defenses to slow the pace.

"We ended the first half in a 1-2-2 zone and played a 2-3 in the second half," Martin said. "We took a gamble that they couldn't hit the outside shots and they didn't."

The zone allowed Brunswick (11-1, 8-1) to seal off the middle and use Savage's height to its advantage.

Savage finished with 21 points and 19 rebounds, including six offensive boards. Brennan led Smithsburg with 18 points while Rachel Bachtell added 12.

"We hung in and played well in the first quarter," Smithsburg coach Teresa Bachtell said. "But they end up going to the line 26 times and we go only 15, and that was a big difference in the game."

Smithsburg led 23-17 with 2:44 remaining in the half when Brunswick began to assert itself with a 7-0 run to intermission, followed by a 12-5 flurry in the first 4:39 of the third quarter to establish a 36-28 advantage. Savage and Julie Foltz, who finished with 16 points, each had six points in the run.

"Basically in the third quarter, we wanted to take control by slowing down our offense while taking over the middle of the floor with our zone defense," Martin said. "We were going to let them shoot from the outside and if they started hitting, we'd adjust."

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