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Bulldogs get an ugly win

January 09, 2002

Bulldogs get an ugly win



By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent
Martinsburg 50, Musselman 41

MARTINSBURG (50)

Anderson 13, Robinson 8, B. Merceruio 5 , T. Merceruio 3, Johnson-Peters 15, Williams 6. Totals 29 19-42 50.

MUSSELMAN (41)

Albright 9, Sprinkle 3, Shanholtz 3, Wright 13, Kennard 4, Orsini 8, Butts 2, Grove 2. Totals 16 6-9 41.

Martinsburg781916-50

Musselman1111910-41

Three-point goals - Musselman 3 (Wright 2, Albright), Martinsburg 1 (Anderson). Fouled out - T. Merceruio, Wright.



INWOOD, W.Va. - Most coaches will tell you that an ugly win is like that unseen piece of artwork you keep in your garage.

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It was for the Martinsburg girls basketball team after it outlasted a persistent Musselman team 50-41 Tuesday night in an Apple Valley League game.

"This was an ugly, ugly win ... but we are going to take it," Martinsburg coach Don Bullett said.

In a game that saw 47 fouls whistled - two dozen in the second half - the Bulldogs (6-3) more or less survived a halftime deficit of 22-15 to finally take their first lead of the night late in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs were able to do it on the foul line as Musselman seemed like a team that changed its personality and approach to the game during the break.

"I'll tell you, sometimes I wish we could play through without a halftime," Musselman coach Holly Kleppner said. "I told our team that Martinsburg is the type club that will lay in wait, find an opportunity and take it to you. That is what they did."

That opportunity came at the foul line.

Trailing 24-21 with just under six minutes left in the third, Martinsburg went to the line nine straight times.

Although they clanged and banged their way to sinking only four of those opportunities, it was enough to give the Bulldogs their first lead, 25-24.

They trailed only once more in the game as Bullett's halftime adjustments and a flurry of foul shots combined to finally quiet the Applemen (3-7).

"We knew at halftime that we had to play better defense, but more importantly, we had to be patient on offense," Bullett said. "In the second half, we did those two things especially well."

Martinsburg's Erika Williams became a force in the paint, while guards Sha Anderson (13 points) and Te Peters (15) pushed the once-lethargic Bulldog offense forward.

Using crisp passing and almost flawless defense, the Bulldogs mirrored the Applemen from the first half staying ahead by a handful of points until the last three minutes.

From there, Martinsburg went to the line 14 straight times, icing the game.

"That seems to happen to us a lot, being more than doubled in foul shots," Kleppner said. "But like I told them, we were also doubled up in rebounds and we doubled them in turnovers."

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