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Walkersville races to first MVAL title

February 11, 2002

Walkersville races to first MVAL title



By BOB PARASILITI
bobp@herald-mail.com

No. 3 Walkersville 45

No. 9 Catoctin 29

CATOCTIN (29)

Cherry 7, M. Williams 2, Valentine 6, Adkins 9, Gladhill 2, Blickenstaff 2, K.B. Williams 1. Totals 12 4-8 29.

WALKERSVILLE (45)

Vernoy 9, Casadel 2, Trout 8, Harrison 10, Lawrence 2, Lancaster 4, Schultz 10. Totals 15 13-25 45.

Catoctin86312-29

Walkersville 10111311-45

Three-point goals-Catoctin 1 (Adkins), Walkersville 2 (Vernoy, Schultz). JV-Catoctin, 44-40.



WALKERSVILLE, Md. - The Walkersville girls basketball team was poised for a celebration.

There was a cake to cut and a ladder to climb to bring down the net. For the Lions, having champagne as the beverage of choice was almost pass.

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Instead, No. 3 Walkersville opted for strong Koffi with two lumps - defense and determination - to quench its thirst for the first Monocacy Valley Athletic League title in program history Friday with a 45-29 victory over No. 9 Catoctin.

Koffi Harrison had 10 points and 21 rebounds to help the Lions overcome a shoddy offensive night as Walkersville's defense held the Cougars to one basket over a 12-minute, 47-second span to ice the game with a 18-2 run.

"It was just a great defensive effort tonight," Walkersville coach Mike Mathis said.

"Koffi really wanted this one today ... the whole team did," Mathis said. "It was for the league title, but Catoctin was the only team to beat is in the league and we wanted to get even with them. The story after that game was all about how Catoctin shut her down. She cut out the article and hung it on her dresser and read it every day."

Walkersville (18-2, 16-1) needed all the defense it could muster to avenge Jan. 9's 40-32 loss to the Cougars and make sure the party could begin. The Lions put the most effort forward in the first half, but missed shots allowed Catoctin to hang tight and trail 21-14 at the half.

Catoctin (10-7, 10-5) scored the final basket of the first half on Danielle Adkins' 18-footer for the only hoop of the shooting drought.

"We had an element of fear coming down here after beating them the last time," Catoctin coach Tracy Franklin said. "I told them that we had to play the game of our lives and they would have to have an off night for us to win. They had Senior Night and a chance to clinch the title. The odds were against any team coming in here to play tonight."

Catoctin's chances were hurt even further with Jen Eyler sidelined with a leg injury. Eyler is the Cougars' most experienced inside player and her absence helped open the door for Harrison, who was held to just two points in the two teams' first meeting.

Walkersville scored the first 13 points of the second half to build a 34-14 lead with 25 seconds remaining in the third period. Senior Kelly Schultz scored three points in a 6-2 rally to open the fourth quarter and Harrison scored by rebounding a foul shot to give the Lions a 40-19 lead to all but start the party.

"It's great to get the MVAL title. We worked five long years to get here," Mathis said. "Great basketball teams find ways to win and we found a way to win today."

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