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Knights deposit a win

March 05, 1999

Middletown vs. BCCBy DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Correspondent

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




MIDDLETOWN, Md. - Bethesda-Chevy Chase coach John Zehner might be getting tired of running into Middletown in the Class 2A West playoffs.

"We've been up here three years in a row now, (and) they've eliminated us from the playoffs," Zehner said after Middletown's defense held the Barons to just five field goals - one in the second half - to run away with a 45-20 victory in the region semifinals.

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The Knights (19-6, fifth in the Herald-Mail poll) stifled BCC (4-20) with a variety of defenses from a straight man-to-man press to a diamond-and-one press to a 2-2-1 press to a halfcourt man set.

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"We went full court man and another kind of pressure," Middletown coach Kara Nelson said. "We forced a lot of turnovers early, which allowed us to use our entire bench."

Defensively and offensively, Liz Shannon provided the spark for Middletown.

The senior point guard hounded the Barons' guards relentlessly, ending with seven steals. And Shannon controlled the game with her ball handling and court vision.

"She controls the tempo of the game, she handles the ball very, very well, she sees the floor well and gets the ball to the open person," Nelson said.

"Who wouldn't want her to run their team at the point?"

Probably Zehner, after Shannon sparked an 11-0 Middletown first-quarter run with sterling defense and four of her nine total points.

After a putback from Jennifer Amobi gave the Barons a 2-1 lead, a Shannon steal and layup started the run. Assists to Katie Kerstetter and Allison Johnson, followed by Shannon's own drive through the lane for two, put the Knights up 9-2 en route to a 12-4 lead after the first eight minutes.

"She's a heck of a player," Zehner said. "When she's on the offensive end, she's a great penetrator, gets everyone on their team involved. She runs the break well, and she really harassed our point guard."

Middletown extended the lead to 25-10 by halftime, and the game was no longer in doubt.

"This game was pretty much of a letdown," Nelson said. "But you have those every now and then. It's OK to have a letdown against a team like this."

Anna Halse scored eight of her game-high 10 points in the second half to lead Middletown. Kim Waeber had eight points, while Dorian Whims added five points, five rebounds and five steals.

No one had more than five points for BCC.

"We never got any kind of offensive flow," Zehner said. "They were dominating so much."

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