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Frederick loses NJCAA opener, 64-51

March 20, 1997

By BOB DEVINNEY

Staff Correspondent

Sacrifice everything...Surrender nothing. That's this year's motto at the NJCAA Women's Division II National Basketball Tournament being held at the Hagerstown Junior College Athletic Complex.

The 12-team field vying for Saturday's championship trophy was pared to eight Wednesday night when Union County (N.J.) played an inspired second half to knock off Region XX champion Frederick 64-51.

Six games are on tap today beginning with two losers bracket matchups, starting at 10 a.m when Glendale (Ariz.) takes on Hesston (Kan.). Frederick (21-10) can still aspire to a spot in Saturday's sixth-place game when it meets John C. Calhoun (Ala.) in a noon start.

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"We made some poor decisions the second half," said Frederick coach Jack Mehl. "We committed 13 turnovers and we couldn't score. (Sharon) Kukal probably bothered us the most. She did a nice job on us inside."

Kukal scored 10 of her 16 points in the second half, including 6-for-6 from the foul line, and hauled down eight rebounds as Union County broke open a see-saw battle with a 20-10 run the final 8:20.

The Lady Owls shot 47 percent from the field for the game and were14 of 20 from the free throw line the second half, while Frederick could manage to hit just 36 percent of its field goal attempts for the game.

Today's quarterfinal winner's bracket round begins at 2 p.m. with Glen Oaks (Mich.) meeting Illinois Central. At 4, Carl Sandburg (Ill.) takes on Genesee (N.Y.). The evening session begins at 6:30 and features Kirkwood (Iowa) against Penn Valley (Mo.). Union County (29-1) has a showdown scheduled with Lake Michigan (24-5) at 8:30.

Frederick's Kristie Stockman, who hauled down 13 rebounds and scored 10 points, made per presence felt the first half, taking command on the boards as the teams battled through 12 lead changes. Sheron Johnson hit a field goal for UC with three seconds left to give the Lady Owls a 30-29 lead at the break.

"We take a lot of pride in our rebounding and defense," said Union County coach Donna Herran. "The first half was the first time all year we were out-rebounded. I called upon our three sophomores to take over the second half. They picked up on the defensive end, got the ball inside on offense and we made our shots."

Crystal Cosby led the Lady Owls with a team-high 17 points and five assists. But perhaps it was on the defensive end were she did the most damage, picking up eight steals and blocking four shots that turned the tide in Union County's favor.

Judy Whims was the catalyst for Frederick the first half, scoring 11 of her game-high 18 points to pace the Lady Cougars, while Angie Levarto, who finished with 12 points, hit some key jumpers during a 13-2 run mid-way through the first 20 minutes, but in the end it wasn't enough.

Jennifer Martel (11) and Johnson (10) also finished in double figures for Union County.

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