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Backyard barbeque

November 20, 1998

Backyard barbeque

Shepherd gets first win with home-court rout

By Bill Sterner / Staff Correspondent

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




Shepherdstown, W.Va. - Shepherd College women's basketball coach Betsy Blose believes in the "blue collar" work ethic to build a basketball program.

* Learn a solid system and believe in the team.

* Improve each and every game.

* Outwork and out hustle your opponent each time you take the floor.

If the Rams' performance against Columbia Union is any indication, Blose won't have a difficult time convincing anyone to her way of thinking.

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Senior gaurd Leslie Wolf led a solid fast-break Shepherd attack with 14 points as the Rams raced to a 40-point halftime lead and a convincing 97-20 win against the overmatched Pioneers. Every member of the Shepherd team got in the book as Blose emptied her bench early in both halves.

"This was a great opportunity to see them all play," Blose said.

The Rams began substituting freely at the 13:50 mark while comfortably ahead, 40-2.

"We were all able to work on our zone defense and everyone worked in our fast break," Blose said.

But more importantly, Shepherd needed to win after opening the season with two losses - termed "brutal" by Blose - at the Kutztown (Pa.) tournament. Shepherd was close, but behind at the half in each of their first two games.

Not this time.

The outcome was decided quickly Wednesday, as the Rams opened the game with a variety of presses that Columbia Union could not handle. The turnovers came fast and furious as the Shepherd guards turned them into easy points.

"We are so deep at guard," Blose said of a roster that lists no fewer than nine players at that position, including former HCC standout Toni DeStefano and freshman Amanda Fleming of Hancock. DeStefano ended the night with nine points while Fleming canned the last basket of each half. Greencastle's Melissa Windle also had two points.

"Toni (DeStefano) is probably our most creative guard on offense," Blose said. "She is still learning our system, but she is learning fast."

In the second half, the Rams backed into a packed 2-3 zone while slowing the offense to a more measured pace. Although Blose saw improvement in her team, there is still much to be done.

"We have so much potential," Blose said. "This may be the deepest we have ever been in talent."

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