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Brennan spurs Leopards' surge to victory

January 05, 1999|By MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - The Smithsburg Leopards spotted Williamsport a first- quarter lead and then pounced in the second period to defeat the No. 6 Wildcats 51-44 in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game Monday night.

No. 8 Smithsburg's Natasha Wilson led off with a quick layup three seconds into the game and finished the quarter with a controversial buzzer- beater to pull Smithsburg (6-2) within three.

In between those two shots, the Wildcats (6-2) outscored the Leopards 13-6 behind nine points from Megan Andrews and appeared to be gaining momentum.

But Andrews left the game for a breather with 39 seconds left in the first period and did not return until halfway through the second.

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By that time, Carrie Brennan caught fire and led Smithsburg to a three-point lead at 19-16. Brennan scored nine points in the period to spark the Leopards to a 25-20 halftime lead.

But the Wildcats came roaring back on a 9-4 run, the final three on a bomb from Brooke Weimer, with three minutes left in the third quarter to knot the score at 29-29.

Smithsburg then shut out Williamsport for the remainder of the period and finished with a 7-0 run of its own to go up by seven at 36-29.

Wilson led the drive with two three-point plays, getting fouled on two shots and converting both free throws.

Rachel Bachtell led the Leopards in the final period, scoring seven of her 13 points and handling the ball from the point guard position to avoid the turnovers that had plagued the Wildcats for much of the game. Bachtell added 10 assists and five rebounds.

The Wildcats could not close the gap even though they shot 8- for-9 from the free-throw line and Weimer came to life with seven points, including a 3-pointer. Weimer finished with 12 points, and Andrews led the Wildcats with 15.

"Our game is quickness," said Smithsburg coach Jimmy Powell, "that's our whole game. We try to beat them to a spot. Brooke Weimer is really tough, She can hit those 3's anytime, so we mixed the defenses and we did a pretty good job."

Smithsburg's Wilson finished with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Brennan added eight rebounds of her own to go with her 15 points and five steals.

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