'Dogs don't give in

January 04, 2002

'Dogs don't give in

Martinsburg rallies to win with .7 seconds to play

By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent
Martinsburg 52 No. 7 Jefferson 51

Martinsburg (52)

Anderson 22, Peters 9, B. Merceruio 5, T. Merceruio 4, Johnson 4, Robinson 4, Harrold 4. Totals 18 15-19 52.

Jefferson (51)

Brush 5, Edwards 13, Botje 17, Yates 16. Totals 17 16-24 51.



Three-point goals-Martinsburg 1 (B. Merceruio). Jefferson 1 (Edwards). JV- Martinsburg, 33-25.

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Martinsburg girls basketball coach Don Bullett didn't mind that Tasha Robinson launched a 3-pointer with less than five seconds left in Thursday night's game with rival Jefferson, especially when Te Peters pulled down the rebound.



After all, the Bulldogs trailed by two, so even a layup would force the game into overtime.

But Peters went one better - literally.

Peters not only canned the layup with .7 seconds to play, but drew the foul and converted the three-point play to win 52-51, the No. 7 Cougars' second straight loss with less than a second left in the game.

"We've (lost) a couple close games like this, and sometimes it just doesn't seem fair," a disappointed Cougars coach Cheryl Roberts said. "We played with a lot of intensity tonight, and I'm really proud of the girls. We just got the short end of the stick at the end of the game."

The winning bucket marked the first Martinsburg (5-2) lead since an early 4-3 advantage. But it was the Bulldogs' relentless defensive pressure that ultimately turned the tide, forcing 23 Jefferson turnovers, and wearing down the Cougars.

"We made them turn the ball over 23 times, and I think we were able to wear them down," Bullett said. "The kids played extremely hard. They left everything out there on the floor."

After rolling out to a 20-11 lead early in the second period, Jefferson (7-3) began to succumb to the pressure, as Martinsburg went on a 14-7 run to close to within two at the half.

Despite the press, Jefferson's one-two punch of Genelle Botje and Sheron Yates still managed to cause problems inside for the Bulldogs in the first half, combining for 20 points to lead the Cougars to the 27-25 lead.

Again behind Yates and Botje, Jefferson extended its lead to 37-29 late in the third quarter and the Cougars still led 47-39 with 5:32 to play.

At that point, Jefferson seemed content with the lead, patiently looking for a good shot, while trying to keep the ball away from the pesky Bulldog defenders.

The result was a 13-5 Martinsburg run that saw the Cougars fail to hit a field goal in the final 5 minutes, 32 seconds, and attempt just two shots from the floor.

"We were trying to take some time off the clock," said Roberts. "We wanted to wait for the best opportunity to take a shot. They did what I asked them to do."

For Martinsburg, Sha Anderson and Peters did most of the fourth-quarter damage, combining for 15 of the Bulldogs' 17 points.

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