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Hancock romps past Indians for first win

December 17, 1998|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - The Hancock girls basketball team was finally able to fill out an accident report on an opponent instead of itself.

There were no late rallies to give them another close loss.

There were no new injuries to deplete a roster that only last week could list only six healthy players.

And the wounds that had been inflicted in three prior games this season may have even started to heal. After three straight losses by four points or less, the Panthers left little to doubt this time.

Behind Karla Golden's game-high 21 points and freshman Alicia Barnard's 10 steals and 18 points, Hancock more than righted the ship in a 76-24 rout of the Mt. Savage Indians.

The streak was over and some new ones had begun. And the relief was evident on Hancock coach Kim Horvath's face.

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"This win was so important to us," Horvath said. "I can't even begin to say."

The Panthers raced out to a 27-point halftime lead behind two 10-0 runs in the second quarter.

Forward Lauren Younker was devastating to Mt. Savage during the quarter getting 10 of her 13 points mostly in the paint on left side of the basket.

And although the Panthers began pulling away by hitting some virtually uncontested outside shots, the Indians stayed packed in a tight 1-3-1 zone.

Mt. Savage had other problems, too - in the form of the Hancock press. Many times, the Indians' laborious trek down the floor ended in an errant pass or other turnover. It was a surprising turn of events for a team the Panthers (1-3) had bested only twice in two decades.

This game answered the need the Panthers had to know they could not only finish a game, but also finish it strong.

"We led in each of those losses late in the game," Horvath said. "Our goal tonight was to play hard and play as a team right to the end. I am proud of them that they carried out that goal."

Hancock pushed the lead to 40 points shortly before the end of the third quarter as the physical play of center Amanda True and forwards Erica Winn and Amanda Bingaman took its toll on the Indians.

"We have been a physical team all year," Horvath said. "Tonight, it finally paid off."

And with the tension of a close game gone, the Panthers shot a blistering 63 percent from the floor in a second half that saw Horvath work on several unusual substitution patterns. However, she cautioned her team in putting too much substance in a one-game performance.

"We need to keep this in perspective," she said. "Savage is a young team, and we just so happened to play very well."

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