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Hoops Notes-S. Fulton, JB girls aim for postseason

February 10, 2000

Bids go out this weekend in Pennsylvania, and a couple of girls teams have turned things in the right direction headed into the postseason.

* In District 5 Class A, Southern Fulton has been tearing up the charts. The Indians have won 10 of 12 - including their first win over archnemesis McConnellsburg in 10 seasons.

"It's a little bit of a surprise, but I knew we had the talent, and if we worked hard, we'd do a good job," coach Mark Mellott said. "And we're doing that."

The Indians have stayed hot behind forward Kelly True, who's averaged 20 points per game in the team's six-game winning streak, and forward Michelle Golden, who's been in double figures in rebounds in four of the last five. The two combined for 46 points and 22 rebounds in the Feb. 3 win over the Spartans.

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"That was like 10,000 pounds being taken off our shoulders," Mellott said. "The girls just had to believe we could beat them. The last time (a 47-26 loss on Jan. 13), we were beat before we even walked in the gym. But that win was big."

Even bigger would be a home playoff game.

"If we keep winning, we should be in the top four," Mellott said. "And that's what we're shooting for. We want that home game. Right now, we can be there."

* Meanwhile, over at James Buchanan, the Rockets have rebounded from a three-game losing streak with five straight wins and a spot in the middle of the pack for the District 3 Class AAA playoffs.

"There's something like 41 teams in our region," JB coach John Lum said. "Just to make it - that's saying something. We're pretty excited right now."

It will be a welcome return to the postseason for the team, which was a constant contender during the early and mid-1990s. Two years away from the fray have the competitive juices flowing again.

"For years, we were taking (the playoffs) for granted," Lum said. "And when we haven't been in the last couple of years, it was like, 'Hey, we need to be back there.' It was an incentive from the beginning."

Losing can be fun

It wasn't so much the 55-51 loss to Waynesboro on Saturday that was fun for James Buchanan boys coach Larry Strawoet. But the atmosphere of playing in a meaningful game against a geographic rival was something else.

"It's all fun to be with. It's a class program in what Coach (Tony) Balistrere does and the gentlemen he coaches," Strawoet said. "When you're a part of something like that ... yeah, it's disappointing to lose, but it's all right to lose to a guy like him and to a program like this."

It was the third time the teams have met this year, with James Buchanan winning the first two, including the Mid Penn Capital first-half championship game.

Barring a collapse by Waynesboro over its final three games, the two will likely meet a fourth time. Waynesboro is unbeaten in the conference in the second half. If the Indians win the second half title, they will play JB in a one-game playoff to decide the conference championship.

"This is a neat rivalry for both two teams," Strawoet said. "It's a clean game, the communities are involved in it and it's fun to be a part of.

"We've been on the winning end of it twice and they have once," Strawoet added. And I'm sure we're going to see them again."

Backfield in motion

Tuesday night's classic between the South Hagerstown and Middletown boys turned on the Knights' ability to get in transition - and not from guards Mark Main and Darin Gordon.

Middletown got more than its share of free baskets from its burly forward combination of D.J. Costello and Sam Williams, who scored a staggering 18 points on dribble drives from the perimeter and transition baskets.

Actually, it came as a surprise to no one. The twosome make up the starting fullback combo for the Middletown football team.

"They can really run for being big guys," Middletown coach Tim Leber said. "That's part of the game - let them run and beat the other team's big guys down the floor."

It turned out to be the perfect plan. Williams scored on a dribble drive and a halfcourt breakaway in the final minute to give the Knights a 68-66 victory.

Standing tall

You can't measure a Wildcat by her size. You need to look at some Williamsport players by thier fight.

And if they didn't have fight, the No. 2 Wildcats wouldn't where they are today. They would fall short.

"We're midgets," Williamsport coach Curtis Graff said after the Wildcats came back to down Smithsburg last Friday. "If you get your composure and become deliberate, you'll jam it down our thoats."

Smithsburg did a little jamming on the Wildcats, rallying from 10 points down to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Williamsport used its trademark speed to complete its comeback, but it was the grit of two undersized players in the middle that helped turn the tide for the Wildcats.

Megan Bowman and Angie McDonald scrapped in the middle to hold off the Smithsburg height advantage. McDonald finished with just three points, but fought for loose balls to get the Wildcats on the move again.

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