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Storm coach wins 100th

December 11, 1999|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - For Mercersburg girls basketball coach Aron Solomon, the 100th win of his career felt like it took at least 100 years to decide. But the Blue Storm, behind a balanced offensive attack that saw eight players score, held off another valiant effort by undermanned Hancock to come away with a 38-34 win.

cont. from sports page

Solomon was not the least bit surprised at how his bigger and more physical team had to struggle with the Panthers who again dressed only six players for the third straight game.

"It is always tough to beat (Hancock) on this floor," a relieved Solomon said. "We knew the one thing we could count on was the fact that they would make us work."

Hancock (1-2) didn't let Mercersburg (2-2) down.

Combining the finesse of sophomore Alicia Barnard's perimeter game with the bruising play of junior Lauren Younker, the Panthers stayed close throughout the game - even to the point when four of their starters were playing with four fouls.

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"We played well enough in spots again," Hancock coach Kim Horvath said. "But honestly, shooting as poorly from the field and the line as we did will not win alot of games for you."

Cold shooting would haunt the Panthers throughout the game.

Hancock shot just 48 percent from the foul line, the went into the deep freeze from the rest of the field, hitting just 30 percent from the field. Mercersburg's aggressive man-to-man, which it ran almost the entire game, was too much to handle for the inexperienced Panthers.

"We felt coming into the game that they could not exchange baskets with us," Solomon said. "We also felt that our sheer numbers would have a fatigue effect on them in the second half."

Barnard finished the game with 14 points while Younker powered in 12, all in the paint, but Hancock could not find a consistent patter on offense.

"We were sort of a victim of the numbers game again." Horvath said. "We don't see much man defense and they had the numbers to play it all game."

Every time Hancock played itself back into the game, the Blue Storm's Sarah Nusairat had an uncanny knack of throwing down key jumpers to keep the Panthers at arm's length.

"If (Hancock) wins the game, okay - but I told our kids not to just give it away," Solomon said. "We wanted to make them fight for every little thing."

The Panthers did battle to the end, trailing by only three points in the last half-minute. But Melanie Johnson's 15-foot jumper and a final turnover by the Panthers allowed Solomon to celebrate his coaching milestone.

"We played intelligently," Solomon said."They stuck to the plan and it paid."

Mercersburg 38, Hancock 34




HANCOCK (34)

Barnard 14, A.Younker 2, Mellott 5, L.Younker 12, True 1. Totals 11 11-24 34.

MERCERSBURG ACADEMY (38)

Thompson 7, Marquiss 1, Nusairat 8, Hasson 7, Petry 2, Malone 5, Johnson 4, Smith-4. Totals 13 11-17 38.

Hancock66913-34

Mercersburg116813-38

JV - Hancock, 26-18. (H-Cassie Bingaman 7).

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