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Local fans cheer on Terrapins

April 02, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Terrapin fever was in full swing Monday as basketball fans crowded area bars to see the University of Maryland battle Indiana in the NCAA championship game.

More than 180 people were at Replays Sports Bar at the Four Points Sheraton to watch the game on an 8-foot television screen.

Nissa Masser, 23, of Hagerstown, said she has supported the Terrapins throughout the tournament because they are from Maryland.

Masser said before the game that she felt confident the Terps would win because of how close they came last year.

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It turned out she was right. The Terps beat the Hoosiers, 64-52.

Maryland was eliminated in the national semifinals by Duke in 2001.

"They learned from what they did wrong last year," Masser said.

As the game started, the crowd at Replays grew and a movable partition separating the dining room from the bar was removed to accommodate the mostly Maryland fans. The noisy crowd sipped drink specials and had a chance to take home free T-shirts given away by the bar.

Many fans wore Terrapins T-shirts or other gear. One female fan sported a turtle tattoo on her cheek.

Maryland natives Shawna Gallagher, 28, and Eddie Brown, 25, live in Martinsburg, W.Va., now but said they will always be Terps fans.

The couple said they could have watched the game at home or in a West Virginia bar but came to Maryland to be with a hometown crowd.

Both Gallagher and Brown predicted Maryland would win because of the talented players on the team.

"They work together and they're awesome," Gallagher said.

Brown said the Terrapins were just as good as they were last year and were hungry for the win.

Friends Dave Nichols, 21, of Wolfsville, Md.; Brian McLucas, 25, of Myersville, Md.; Dave Jimmerfield, 22, of Hagerstown; Ian Morrison, 26, of Middletown, Md.; and Chris Wagner, 21, of Middletown were at The Ground Round on Wesel Boulevard to watch the game on a 60-inch screen.

"It's our lucky place," Jimmerfield said.

And the bar's $1.25 drafts and snacks made it a fun place to be at game time, he said.

Maryland supporters at the bar were vocal, with more than 60 fans getting out of their seats to cheer or protest plays.

Newlywed Amy Krumpe left her husband Max to make the donuts at their family's Hagerstown business while she watched the game at Replays with friend Steve Strine, 25, of Hagerstown.

Strine, who was wearing a Terps T-shirt that said "Fear the Turtle," said he likes watching games at Replays because of the big screen television and friendly atmosphere.

A 1999 University of Maryland graduate, Krumpe, 24, said she had to come Replays for the championship game because Maryland had won when she watched games there before.

Maryland would rely on the skills of Juan Dixon to win the game, she said.

"It's going to be close but they'll win," she said.

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