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Smithsburg's foul shooting takes sting out of Scorpions

March 01, 2000

Smithsburg over Oakland MillsBy JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg girls basketball team is shedding some light on some underexposure.

"This is pretty good for a team that wasn't picked to be under consideration in the pre season poll in the Hagerstown newspaper," Smithsburg coach Teresa Bachtell said. "We lost 47 points out of our 53-point average from last year to graduation and transfers. Regardless of how we do in the championship game, it is just icing on the cake to get to play in that game. This team has gone much farther than what a lot of people thought that we would."

cont. from sports page

All the stated reasons above made it fashionable to count the Leopards out before the season. Smithsburg served notice that it has a lot to say about the outcome of this year's Maryland Class 1A state tournament Wednesday with a 49-47 South Region victory over Oakland Mills.

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The Leopards made 18 of their 27 foul shots to squeeze by the Scorpions and into Friday's region final matchup with top-seeded Glenelg.

"LaNitra Higgins and Jenelle Stouffer came off of the bench to sink some key free throws for us," Bachtell said. "Katy Powell and Tissa Porter also made some big free throws at the end for us."

Smithsburg (17-7) will host Glenelg, which downed Brunswick 45-36 on Wednesday, in Friday's region championship game at 7 p.m.

Porter grabbed 12 rebounds and scored six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to push the Leopards over the top after scoring just one point in the third quarter to trail 33-32 heading into the final eight minutes.

"Oakland Mills was big and strong," Porter said. "We just had to go in there strong and take it to them."

Porter scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to give Smithsburg a 37-33 lead. The Leopards raised their lead to 45-39 with 1:09 remaining, but the Scorpions (16-8) came back to narrow the gap to 47-44 with 21 seconds left.

After Powell sank one of two foul shots for Smithsburg with 13 seconds left, Melissa Roche canned a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining to bring Oakland Mills to within one point, 48-47.

Powell hit one of two foul shots with two seconds left lock up the championship berth for Smithsburg.

Powell collected 16 points, six steals and six rebounds. Michelle Feiser added 10 rebounds, nine points and four steals, while Heather Ashley grabbed five rebounds for the Leopards.

"We know that if we work hard and give maximum effort, then we can go as far as we can in the playoffs," Powell said. "We don't fear anybody."

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