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Williamsport girls top North

December 07, 1999|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - The North Hagerstown girls basketball team can put an ironic twist on the old adage of "between the (be) devil and the deep blue sea'' after a hard-fought 58-50 loss to Williamsport Monday night.

cont. from sports page

The (be)devil for the young Hubs came in the form of four sophomores on a varsity roster that time and again solved the riddle of the veteran Wildcat press and played stingy defense against an opponent that seemed on the verge of exploding offensively all game.

The deep blue sea came in the form of the Williamsport bench which rolled wave after wave of players into the game to finally wear down the undermanned Hubs, who dressed only eight.

"We are essentially a JV team playing varsity,'' North coach Diane Telemko said. "We worked so hard to play good defense that mentally, we didn't work as hard to protect the ball on offense.''

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In reality, it was the strong court play of the Wildcat guards and a stifling full-court pressure defense that allowed Williamsport (1-0) to deliver several knockdown punches that frustrated any chance of a North (0-1) comeback.

Four times the Hubs struggled from double-digit deficits to trail by as few as five points, but each time, the defensive play of the Wildcats and the crisp return passing of Ashley van Norden and Brooke Weimer stymied the Hubs.

"I definetly think our experience here tonight was a key,'' Williamsport coach Curtis Graff said. "Obviously we are not used to playing at that pace yet, but we will gain poise with each game. Our young kids were nervous and it showed.''

And the pace to which Graff was referring was nothing less than frantic at times as both teams raced up and down the floor with many of the rushes ending in turnovers and missed opportunities. But the Hubs' Amanda McGhee kept her team in it, especially at the foul line where she shot an uncanny 10 of 10 in the first half. McGhee would finish perfect (14-for-14) and 26 points for the game.

However, in the second half, both teams settled down to business as the Williamsport offense began to find Megan Bowman inside. Bowman, who led the Wildcats with 17 points answered time and again, but the scrappy Hubs would simply not go away, countering the press with a patient 2-3 zone, the Hubs trailed 54-48 with just over two minutes left.

Fatigue and some confusion on offense as the Wildcats continually changed their man schemes on defense, took their toll on North.

"We will learn to play with poise to look for things that the other team will give us,'' Graff said. "That will be the difference between just running up and down the floor and being a good team.''

"I think they see there is a solid base there for us to win,'' Telemenko said. "We have some things to work on, but they now know what it takes to play at this level.''

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