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'Cats defense repels Rebels

December 10, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

The Williamsport girls basketball team has been together for just 25 days.

On Monday, the Wildcats proved that the last 3 1/2 weeks was time well spent.

Williamsport erased a slow start with some of the stickiest defense this side of Elmer's Glue to run off with a 60-23 victory over host South Hagerstown in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game.

Williamsport fell behind 6-0 in the first 2 1/2 minutes of play before its man defense and combinations of traps out of a zone alignment kicked off a 26-0 run which lasted 13 minutes, 20 seconds.

"We have worked very hard on our defense since practice started on Nov. 15," Williamsport coach Kevin Murphy said. "We fell behind 6-0 and dug in on defense."

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Williamsport dug in so deep, it almost created a moat for the Rebels to get across for the chance to score. South found itself turning the ball over on the aggressive trapping by the Wildcats.

And when it did get the chances, South misfired. Opening up the transition game for Williamsport.

"We played some traps and got some steals," Murphy said. "At this point of the season, we aren't very good in the halfcourt offense yet, so we tried to create our offense off the defense."

Williamsport scored the last eight points of the first quarter in the last 5:32 to take a 8-6 lead. It added the first 18 of the second quarter, keeping the Rebels off the scoreboard until 12 seconds were remaining in the half on the way to a 27-8 advantage at the intermission.

Lindsey Plotner scored the first four points to start the run and Amber Taylor scored six of her game-high 15 in the stretch.

"We didn't shoot well and we got in foul trouble," South coach Patty Leazier said. "(Williamsport) ran a 1-3-1 and the girls didn't adjust well. We have to work on that. When you miss 10 open baskets, there isn't much you can do. They have to hang in there and play through the adversity. We will get better."

Jamie Fowler was saddled with three fouls in the first quarter and got her fourth early in the second period to render her ineffective for South, while Shamika Slater picked up three personals in the second quarter.

Williamsport scored the first five points of the second half to build a 24-point lead and continued to pull away to a 38-point bulge in the final minute.

Plotner finished with 14 for Williamsport while Chasidy Smith led the Rebels with nine points.

"I'm serious, I'm new to this and don't know what to expect," said Murphy, who spent most of his career coaching the Williamsport boys. "I'm just asking them to go out, play hard and execute."

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