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Jefferson edges Martinsburg

February 10, 2001|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

Jefferson edges Martinsburg



SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - It wasn't a perfect game for coach Cheryl Roberts and the Jefferson Cougars girls basketball team, but it will be one that Roberts and her charges will replay in their heads and hearts for years to come.

Jefferson's Lindsay Edwards scored 15 points and fearlessly took control of the basketball in the final minutes to enable the Cougars to wrest a rare 58-54 nailbiter from Martinsburg at Jefferson Friday evening.

"What a relief," Roberts said while smiling amid the celebrating fans and players on the floor. "It has been so long since we beat them, but tonight the determination was there."

"This is so great," Edwards said. "There have been times they have just blown us out of the gym - but not tonight."

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IThe Cougars (9-6) played with a combination of offensive balance and patience that was tempered by a defensive fire that was a mirror of the way the Bulldogs normally rip through their Panhandle rivals. Jefferson's pair of 6-foot-1 forwards Sheron Yates and Janelle Botje, controlled the boards on both ends of the floor forcing the Bulldogs into a frantic pace on offense that became panic in the second half. Botje presented definite post problems for Martinsburg which was forced to go without their own post player in Maggie Robinson, a late scratch due to dental surgery Thursday.

"We didn't get it done," Martinsburg coach Don Bullett said. "We have handled adversity so well this year. Injuries are adversity, too. That is why they call it a team. Others have to step up and play."

Anderson finished with a game-high 26 points for Martinsburg (14-5).

It was Yates who time and again got open on offense and rolled in the open shot to pace the Cougars' sometimes sluggish offense. Yates ended with 16 points and 16 rebounds.

"We made up our minds (Martinsburg) wouldn't do it to us tonight - not in our own place," Yates said. "We were tired of looking at them celebrating."

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