Martinsburg girls complete sweep of Jefferson

February 11, 2002

Martinsburg girls complete sweep of Jefferson

By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent


Brosh 1, Thomas 3, Edwards 7, Botje 15, Yates 11, Bloomer 5, Totals 15 10-25 42.


Anderson 9, Robinson 1, B. Merceruio 3, Harrold 10, Roman 2, Peters 13, T. Merceruio 7, Luna 2, Totals 18 11-22 47.



Three-point goals - Jefferson 2 (Edwards, Bloomer). Fouled out - Martinsburg (Harrold, Robinson).

JV - Martinsburg, 31-29. Jefferson - Casey Woods 9. Martinsburg - Ashley Winston 9.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - If Martinsburg guard Bridget Merceruio were to conduct a free throw shooting clinic, Cheryl Roberts might be among the first in line.


The No. 8 Jefferson girls basketball coach watched helplessly as Merceruio cooly drained 3 of 4 charity shots late in overtime to help keep the rival Cougars at bay and clinch a sweep of the regular-season series with a 47-42 Bulldogs victory in an Apple Valley League contest.

With Martinsburg clinging to a two-point edge with 39 seconds left, Merceruio swished two free throws, after a Jefferson time out, to make it a two-possession lead.

"I really wasn't very nervous," said the Bulldogs' sophomore. "I felt pretty confident. Coach (Don Bullett) keeps an emphasis on free throw shooting. The time out just gave me a chance to rest."

Making the situation more painful for Roberts was her club's inability to take advantage of their free-throw opportunities, hitting just 10 of 25 attempts for the game, and six of 19 in regulation play.

"We weren't doing very well from the free throw line at all," said Roberts. "We'll definitely be in the gym (today) shooting free throws."

The Cougars (14-4) had opportunities to win the game in regulation but turned the ball over with 15 seconds left, and opted to run out the clock after forcing a Martinsburg turnover 11 seconds later.

Only a furious rally allowed the Bulldogs (12-7) back in the game. Jefferson held an 11-point advantage midway through the third period, but Martinsburg used a 13-2 spree to tie the score at 32-32, while its suffocating man-to-man defense held the Cougars without a field goal for eight minutes.

Genelle Botje went to work inside late in the quarter, hitting two straight buckets to reclaim the lead for Jefferson, but a Te Peters layup ultimately forced the extra period.

Fourteen second-half turnovers - many of which were created by the Bulldogs' pressure - certainly didn't help the Jefferson cause.

"Our defense really kept us alive," said Bullett. "We wanted to come out and see what they were going to do against our man-to-man. We wanted to make them lob the ball inside, and then look for back side help."

Martinsburg's run came after the Cougars turned a nine-point deficit into an 11-point edge with a 22-2 run sparked by Sheron Yates and Lindsay Edwards.

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