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Walkersville girls teach Williamsport defensive lesson

December 24, 1998

Walkersville over WilliamsportBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




WILLIAMSPORT - Even though students have left school for Christmas break, the Walkersville girls basketball team is still doing its homework and getting all the right answers from its star pupil.

Using a triangle-and-two defense it learned just one day earlier, the Lions shut down the Williamsport backcourt early Wednesday night and got 29 points from guard Julia Demirer to hand the Wildcats their first loss, 62-55.

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No. 9 Walkersville (4-2, 3-2 Monocacy Valley Athletic League) pulled out the stunt defense against the Wildcat guard tandem of Brooke Weimer and Ashley Van Norden and worked it to perfection. Weimer - averaging 14.8 points a game - had only six points and Van Norden had fits trying to pass over the top of the taller Lions.

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"We watched her (Weimer) against Middletown, and knew she was the one to stop," Walkersville coach Mike Mathis said. "We set it up so someone else had to beat us, not her."

No. 7 Williamsport (4-1, 3-1) tried, but 13 turnovers in the first half - 20 altogether - limited it to just 18 shots in the first half. And even though 10 of them went in, the Wildcats' last lead of the game came at 11-10 with three minutes left in the first quarter.

"It was the perfect defense against us," Williamsport coach Curtis Graff said. "There's a lot to get ready for against a team like this, and that was one thing we hadn't looked at."

The other thing Williamsport needed an early look at was Demirer. The 5-foot-10 left-hander continually pushed the Lions to leads to start every quarter, then came through at the end of the game. She went 8-for-8 at the charity stripe in the final quarter - and 13-for-14 for the game - and added nine boards and five assists.

"That's just Julia. She looks slow out there, but she's not," Mathis said. "Her first step is so big. If she gets by you then, you're in trouble."

Graff and the Wildcats felt that pain all night.

"She's just outstanding," Graff said. "She's big and quick (to guard) ... You shoot yourself in one foot or the other with her."

But it was her shot at the line that eventually gunned down Williamsport. With the score 58-55 and 20 seconds left, Demirer's two swishes made it a two-possession game and slammed the door.

"I feel confident at the line and if they want to send me there instead of shooting, that's fine," said Demirer. "It can mean the game at some point."

That point was Wednesday night.

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