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Catoctin's good will lands Smithsburg in Draper final

December 30, 1999

Smithsburg over CatoctinBy CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




SMITHSBURG - This is the season for giving. But the Catoctin girls basketball team, might be wondering why it gave more than it received Wednesday night.

The Cougars gave up possession of the basketball no less than 18 times in the first half. Then, in the third period, they gave up easy buckets inside, allowing Smithsburg to secure a 62-40 victory in the opening round of the inaugural Pap Draper Classic.

cont. from sports page

The Leopards will face Urbana, 60-50 winners over Allegany, in the championship tonight at 8.

Smithsburg's Tissa Porter was on the receiving end of the Cougars' third-quarter gifts, scoring 10 points as the Leopards' 14-point halftime lead ballooned to 49-25.

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"(Catoctin) had a shorter girl on me," Porter said. "We had a mismatch, and I have great players who just got me the ball."

Catoctin was forced to play without starting point guard and leading scorer, Cyndi Benjamin, who was ill.

"We really missed Cyndi Benjamin," said Cougars coach Tracey Kelley. "We had players assuming that role who have never played that position before. Inexperience and fear caused a lot of those turnovers. All in all, we're going to improve. But for right now, we're struggling."

The early going could have been much worse for the Cougars (0-4). Eight turnovers allowed Smithsburg to score nine of the game's first 10 points, and take a 17-8 advantage entering the second period.

Eight more Cougars turnovers allowed the Leopards (3-3) to open the second quarter with six unanswered points - and Catoctin's frontcourt of Lyndsey Williams and Jenn Eyler were both whistled for their third personal foul - for a 31-12 lead with 77 seconds left. But a 6-2 Catoctin run to end the period closed the gap to 33-19 at the intermission.

"Catoctin's like we are," said Smithsburg coach Teresa Bachtell. "They're young. And they were missing their starting point guard and we were able to take advantage of that. Like us, they're young, but one thing we have going for us is that we are quick."

The final five minutes of the third period was all Smithsburg, outscoring Catoctin 12-2, with Porter and Heather Ashley accounting for them from deep inside the paint.

"It's always part of the game plan to get the ball inside if we're able to do that," said Bachtell. "If we get that part of our game going, then all the rest of it can develop, too."

While Porter's 17 points and 13 rebounds paced the Leopards offensively, Katy Powell with 11 points and Melanie Whitt added 10.

Danielle Atkins' 11-point effort led the Cougars.

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