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Patriots girls knock out Knights

December 15, 2000

Patriots girls knock out Knights



By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent


MIDDLETOWN, Md. - If solid defense wins basketball games, then it only stands to reason that a lack of offense loses basketball games.

Middletown girls coach Kara Nelson is now a firm believer.

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The No. 5 Knights played well enough to win defensively, but had virtually nothing at the offensive end, dropping a 45-37 non-league decision to Thomas Johnson Thursday.

"We played terribly on offense," said Nelson. "They have a pretty good defensive team, but we threw the ball away and weren't able to catch it. We didn't come into the game prepared to play. That's the bottom line."

At no time was that more obvious than in the first three minutes of each period, as the Patriots outscored Middletown by a combined 26-8 in those segments, forcing Middletown to play from behind nearly all night.

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"That's something, unfortunately, we've started to do," said Nelson. "We get behind early, then have to play catch-up."

Despite its offensive woes, the Knights were still in a position to win the game until late in the fourth period when TJ sophomore Amanda Jones scored five unanswered in a 68-second span to stretch a four-point margin to a 44-35 lead.

"(Jones) hit a couple key shots down the stretch for us, and I think that put it away for us," said Pats coach Larry Goines. "She's only a sophomore, and sometimes I think I'm a little too hard on her, but it's nothing I don't think she can do."

The Knights (1-1) appeared as though they might be easy prey for TJ early in the game, falling behind 10-2 before rebounding to finish the quarter with a 9-2 run to trail by just one entering the second period.

Again, Middletown started slowly, watching Jones can a pair of field goals to spark a 6-2 TJ run before the Knights reeled off the next six points to gain their only lead of the game at 19-18. But a Jones layup and a Cristina Feather 16-footer in the final 45 seconds handed the Pats (4-1) a 3-point edge at the half.

Anna Halse's field goal at 5:11 of the fourth period to keep Middletown within reach at 39-35, but the Knights fell silent at the offensive end for more than four minutes, allowing Jones and the Pats to opening a working margin.

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