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Caught in a Waeber

January 21, 1999

Forward's late heroics take away Walkersville win

Middletown vs. WalkersvilleBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




MIDDLETOWN, Md. - Kim Waeber was in the zone Tuesday night for the Middletown girls basketball team - only after coach Kara Nelson put her there.

But once Waeber was there, she decided not to leave. Her three steals and 6-for-6 performance from the free-throw line in overtime ended a triple-double for herself and a stirring comeback for her team, as No. 7 Middletown rallied in the final 40 seconds for a 47-46 victory over No. 8 Walkersville.

[cont. from sports page]

"Oh gosh," said Waeber after her 14-point, 13-rebound, 10-steal night. "I've never done that before."

Middletown's comeback might be something that's never been done before, either.

Walkersville led 46-43 with 54.7 seconds left after a Middletown turnover, and attempted to milk the clock. But Middletown extended its zone - with the 5-foot-10 Waeber at the point - to clog the sight lanes of Walkersville's 5-foot point guard, Heather Renner.

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"We had Kim up there knowing they were going to stall," Nelson said. "And she did what we wanted. Let's face it, it was going to be tough for Renner to see over her."

It worked to perfection, as Waeber picked off Renner passes on consecutive possessions and made all four free throws to give the Knights (8-4, 6-2 MVAL) their one-point lead.

"I was so nervous up there," an elated Waeber said afterward. "I don't think anyone saw me shaking up there, but I was shaking."

At that point, the only thing visibly shaking was Walkersville's confidence. Back-to-back turnovers still gave the Lions (7-6, 6-4) a chance to win but Christine Smith tried to drive the lane for the final shot instead of a perimeter jumper, and time ran out.

"We told them to catch and shoot, but they wanted to drive the lane," Walkersville coach Mike Mathis said. "We were just a second late. But you can't have three turnovers in the final minute of overtime and expect a win, either."

Then again, not many on the Middletown side of things were expecting a win at that point either. After star Walkersville guard Julia Demirer starting breaking through the Middletown man-to-man in the second half, Nelson scrapped the defense for a 1-1-3 zone with Waeber on the top - something Middletown had never tried before.

"She was starting to get her shots," Nelson said. "We were worried that she might shoot over Liz (Shannon) on the right side, but we had the extra person on that side shadow her around, too. That defense was the key."

Even though Demirer did finish with 19 points, she was only 7-for-19 from the field, and her teammates couldn't find enough shots to make up for it.

"I don't think we rotated the ball enough," Mathis said. "We were just taking the first open shot. Not to say that that's bad, but sometimes it's like being between a rock and a hard place."

Liz Shannon finished with a game-high 20 points and six assists for Middletown. Melissa Kolb had 12 points for the Lions.

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