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Three area teams get shot in finals

March 03, 2001

Three area teams get shot in finals



By DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

Three teams try to take the final step to the MPSSAA Girls Basketball Tournament today in their region finals.

Class 1A South

Smithsburg at Glenelg, 7


The Leopards' scoring machine heads down the road to Howard County to face the Gladiators for a rematch of last season's 1A South final, which Glenelg won.

Last year, though, the Leopards didn't have Eariel Gholson, who transferred into the district this season.

"Yeah, I'm the little extra helper this time," Gholson said Thursday after Smithsburg's semifinal win over Catoctin.

The Leopards (19-5, No. 5 Herald-Mail poll) will rely on their trademark box-and-1 press and speed under the basket against a bigger Glenelg team to go for the team's first final four appearance since 1988.

"We've got to keep the intensity up," said sophomore guard Katy Powell. "We have to force them to play our game."

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Class 1A West

Williamsport vs. Southern Garrett at Fort Hill, 7


Wildcats coach Curtis Graff admits he doesn't know what's going through the minds of his players before today's game. He's used to it by now.

"They're kids. They're loving life, and you just never know," Graff said. "It's the one thing that's constant. That's part of what makes it fun."

For once, though, the Wildcats will have some fun looking at the lineup. Williamsport (17-6) was at a height disadvantage all season, but runs into a Rams team that is eerily similar to his own in all facets.

"It's not as much a relief. We just won't have to look way up when they shoot this time," Graff said with a laugh. "But we've played well against the best teams in the (MVAL) - Smithsburg, Middletown, FSK.

"The kids have learned from all that and they expect to do well. As long as they keep fighting ... and they do that."

Class 4A West

Frederick at Churchill, 1


It's a rematch of last season's region final, won by the Cadets with a spectacular fourth-quarter rally. Coach Todd Bono's crew knew they had a challenge last year, and have found just as many one year later.

"We've got a confident group," Bono said. "And it's nice to have (Churchill) undefeated (at 24-0). We like the challenge in a team that hasn't lost yet."

After missing last season's trip to UMBC, guard/forward Ashley Bush is back and controlling the reins for Frederick (21-3, No. 1 Herald-Mail poll), which has won 20 straight games of its own.

"She's looking forward to this, looking forward to going back to UMBC," Bono said. "She loves the challenge. The bigger the challenge, the better she plays."

If the same goes for the rest of the Cadets, who will be going with a less-than-100 percent Kristal Hood, a third straight trip to the semifinals will be in order.

"I think we've adapted really well," Bono said. "The girls are so confident in each other's abilities and their abilities as a team. This bench can step up and contribute."

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