Alice Smith tries to follow in dad's footsteps

March 12, 1997


Staff Writer

UNION BRIDGE, Md. - The Smiths have made basketball their life.

Now, it's Alice's turn to take center stage.

Alice Smith, a 1987 Williamsport High School graduate and coach of Francis Scott Key's girls' basketball team, has guided the Eagles to the Class 1A state semifinals.

Her father, Glenn Smith, coached Williamsport to a 1A state title in 1992 and a runner-up finish in 1991 before retiring after the 1995 season.


With two wins this weekend, Alice will be coupled with Glenn as the only father-daughter combination to win basketball state titles in Maryland.

"I think she's added to what I've been teaching," said Glenn Smith. "She's always had that point guard mentality. She's intelligent and tries to excel. She has high expectations of herself and everyone she works with."

"Most of (the seniors) have been with me four years, through volleyball and basketball - eight seasons," Alice Smith said. "Now they're going to states (for basketball) and they're as high as a kite."

Alice Smith was an assistant coach for FSK's volleyball team, which defeated Williamsport for the state title in the fall.

Alice Smith inherited a struggling FSK varsity program three years ago. In her first year, the Eagles went 7-15. Last year, they improved to 14-10. This year, FSK is 23-3 and has set a school record for victories. The Eagles are in the semifinals for the first time since 1987. The school has never won a girls' basketball state title.

Francis Scott Key faces Mardela, led by University of Pittsburgh-bound Rasheedah Akram, in the semifinals at UMBC Friday night at 7. Northern Garrett and Rising Sun play in the other semifinal game at 9.

Although the drive to Union Bridge is more than an hour for Glenn and Sue Smith, they've made just about every game.

Following the Eagles' dramatic 63-62 double-overtime victory over Brunswick in the regional finals, Alice and Glenn reviewed the game films together.

Glenn also did some advance scouting for the Eagles, getting looks at teams like Mardela. Glenn said Sue, his wife and Alice's mother, has also been involved as a sort of "team mother."

"I went to states for volleyball (at Williamsport), but not basketball," Alice Smith said. "(Glenn) told me what to look for at the tournament, what to expect from the refs and what to expect on the court."

"I've been going down (to state tournaments) with (Williamsport coach) Curtis (Graff) to watch a few games," Glenn said. "But Friday, this one is going to be different."

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