JB wins girls basketball game

December 07, 1999

JB over GreencastleBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - As Tuesday night's James Buchanan-Greencastle girls basketball game turned into a track meet, the Rockets knew they had the advantage.

With a couple of games already under its belt, No. 8 James Buchanan used its superior depth and game experience to wear down the Blue Devils for a 56-42 victory in this Highway 16 rivalry game.

cont. from sports page

"We wanted the up-tempo game; we had more depth and ran 8-9 girls in a lot," JB coach John Lum said. "That really created some good opportunities."


In a nip-and-tuck first half, Greencastle (0-1) made it 22-20 on Megan Wertner's basket inside with 45 seconds left in the half. Wertner tried to convert a three-point play, but missed the free throw. Missy Ciucci picked up the rebound and was fouled for JB and she made the front end of a 1-and-1. The second half didn't fall, but she picked up an offensive rebound and put it in for a three-point play.

Megan Williams' 3 on the other end was off target, and as the Rockets worked for a final shot, the offense broke down - only to be saved on Becky Porter's banked 3 with one second left for a 28-20. It was the closest Greencastle would get the rest of the way.

"Right before the half, that killed us," Greencastle coach Doug Stuart said. "But the Ciucci girl really did us in. We had them scouted and didn't see that out of her. She got some big boards and picked up a lot of garbage inside."

Ciucci finished with 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field. Emilie Petry added 20 points and six rebounds for James Buchanan (3-0), which was either great or horrible against Greencastle's out-of-bounds pressure. The Rockets had 18 turnovers, but also busted the press for several easy transition baskets that thwarted any Greencastle rally.

"We got turnovers, but how many times did we convert? None?," Stuart said. "That has to be our game; we have to create turnovers and score off them."

With the loss of three starters from last year, Greencastle got a glimpse of its future in freshman center Alicia Thompson. Thompson was solid in her high school debut, finishing with 16 points and 12 rebounds on nice turnaround jumpers and rebound baskets.

"I expected her to be a bit more jittery, but she really came on as the game progressed," Stuart said. "She'll do some good things for us."

That's something the Rockets already know.

"(Greencastle) loosened up at the end," Lum said. "They'll be good; I'm just glad we caught them early. If this would have been our first game, we would have been in trouble."

"We want teams to say, 'Hey, we beat them, but ... whew,'" Stuart said. "All in all, it was still our first game. We lost, but we're pecking on the door."

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