Leopards get fourth chance

Smithsburg makes 4th region final in a row

Smithsburg makes 4th region final in a row

February 28, 2002|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

CUMBERLAND, Md. - What started out as a nightmare for the Smithsburg girls basketball team proved to be just a momentary bad dream.

The alarm went off with just under five minutes to go in the first quarter Wednesday night, and the Leopards responded by eliminating Westmar 62-34 in a Class 1A West semifinal game at Fort Hill High School.

Smithsburg (21-3) advances to meet Southern Garrett, a 58-47 winner over Allegany, at 7 Friday night at Fort Hill for a trip to the state semifinals.

The Leopards had a few scary minutes to open the game, going 0-for-6 to open the game as Westmar took a 5-0 lead.


Fresh off an upset of Beall, the Wildcats attacked this game in the same style, taking any open shot from any distance and grabbing the offensive rebounds.

It was enough to wake the Leopards up in a cold sweat. Finally, just over two minutes in, Michelle Feiser dropped in the back end of a two-shot foul, and the Leopards reeled off 12 straight points.

"Like we don't have other things to worry about, but we really never play well in North's big gym," Smithsburg coach Jimmy Powell said. "Fort Hill's gym is very similar. I don't know what it is, but I was hoping we would get comfortable in this building."

Midway through the second quarter, the Leopards were wide awake and had made themselves at home. Behind the quickness of Feiser and aggressive penetrations into the paint by Katy Powell, Smithsburg outhustled and outmuscled the Wildcats for a 29-14 lead at halftime.

While Smithsburg expected a Westmar shooting spree in the second half - and got it - they didn't predict the Wildcats falling into a 1-2-2 zone defense that would play right into the Leopards' hands.

"That defense definitely opened up the inside for us," Powell said. "We got the ball into Brittany (Gardenhour) and she got some great looks."

Gardenhour, finished with 11 points, nine in the second half. And the Leopards went to a simple half court trap on defense that allowed only five points in the fourth quarter.

"We played better as a team in the second half," Powell said. "We were able to pass the ball and work for that one good shot."

Smithsburg 62, Westmar 34

Smithsburg (64)

Bywaters 2, Mackey 2, Stouffer 2, Powell 21, Hickman 1, Small 7, Feiser 10, Gardenhour 11, Gholson 6. Totals 26 10-19 62.

Westmar (34)

Morris 2, Marsh 2, Sloan 17, Amann 6, Raines 7. Totals 12 5-8 34.



Three point goals-Westmar 5 (Sloan 5).

The Herald-Mail Articles