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Middletown explodes early for 2A West win

February 28, 2000

Middletown over WalkersvilleBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




MIDDLETOWN, Md. - As if the Middletown girls basketball team wasn't impressive enough during Monday night's 61-36 dismantling of Walkersville in the Class 2A West quarterfinals, head coach Kara Nelson was raving about her Knights' attitude before the game.

cont. from sports page

"I wish you could have seen them before the game," Nelson said with a huge grin. "They were so up for this. After every couple of classes, they would come in and talk to me. They were all giddy and up and ready - everybody."

After two minutes of Monday's game, it showed. Katie Kerstetter's drive to the hoop began an incredible run in which the Knights (20-3) scored on 13 of their next 14 possessions for a 27-14 lead with 5 minutes, 37 seconds left in the second quarter. After four empty possessions, the Knights closed the half on an 11-3 run for an astonishing 38-18 lead.

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The Knights shot 64 percent in the half (16-for-25) against a Walkersville team that handed Middletown its last loss.

"Everything they touched was golden," Walkersville coach Mike Mathis said. "Defensively, they turned it up a notch ... and the loose balls, they got them all."

Allison Johnson and Crystal Shafer were the biggest reasons for the blowout. Johnson was the "ringleader" for the emotional side of things, while Shafer's play on the court got everyone's attention.

The junior locked up Walkersville point guard Heather Renner to close down the Lions (11-13) on offense while getting nine points of her own, including a spectacular reverse layup to open the second quarter.

"Crystal's big thing is to be mentally ready," Nelson said. "If you tell her, 'You have to stop this person,' she goes out and does it. And then any offense out of her is a bonus.

"She did her job all night. She played a perfect game."

So did the rest of the Knights in the first half, and that was enough to end Walkersville's shot at another win over the region's top seed.

"We've gotten a lot better as the season went on," said Mathis, whose club started the season 2-8. "You didn't see that tonight, but we did."

Middletown 61 Walkersville 36




WALKERSVILLE (36)

Renner 5, Kolb 8, Smith 5, Warman 3, Cross 6, Hezlep 2, Seyler 2, Shultz 5. Totals 9-37 17-35 36.

MIDDLETOWN (61)

Shafer 9, Kerstetter 9, Waeber 12, Johnson 10, Whims 6, House 2, Moore 2, Pfau 4, Costello 7. Totals 23-48 14-20 61.

Walkersville 9 9 9 9 - 36

Middletown 19 19 9 14 - 61

Three-point goals - Walkersville 1 (Renner), Middletown 1 (Shafer). Fouled Out - Smith, Costello.

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