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Fourth quarter does in Devils

December 11, 2002|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - According to Meatloaf's popular song of the 1970's: Two Out of Three Ain't Bad. But it certainly wasn't good enough for Greencastle's girls basketball team.

The Blue Devils managed to stay close for three quarters Tuesday night before finally succumbing to Shippensburg's defensive pressure, 57-43, in a Mid Penn Colonial matchup.

After relinquishing a two-point advantage midway through the second period, Greencastle remained within five points of the lead until the final seconds of the third quarter before the Greyhounds turned a pair of turnovers into easy buckets at the outset of the final period to establish an eight-point margin that was never threatened.

"We wanted to come out and pressure them, then drop back into a zone," said Shippensburg coach Bill Reath. "That bothered them last year. But they handled it pretty well tonight, so we just went to a fullcourt man. I think this is a fairly athletic team."

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The first half appeared to be a two-person affair, with Kristine Koziar scoring 13 of Shippensburg's 27 first-half points, while Kathy Kershner had 10 of the Blue Devils' 24 points at the intermission. But Greencastle was unable to get the ball into Kershner's hands in the second half, as the senior scored just two points in the final 16 minutes.

"She just had a great first half," said Greencastle coach Doug Stuart. "She got some really good looks, and hit the shots. But We couldn't get her the ball in the second half. The flow didn't go her way."

Three-point goals - a small part of the Greyhounds' arsenal - played a large role in the third period, keeping Greencastle at bay.

Leading by five early in the third quarter, Shippensburg watched buckets by Kershner and Jessica Statler pull the Blue Devils to within one. But a Katey Reed 3-pointer pushed the advantage to four. Sara Marshall canned another 3 late in the period to hand the Greyhounds their largest lead of the game to that point at 39-33.

Reed, Marshall and Koziar kept the Greyhounds' offense rolling in the second half, combining for 24 of their 30 points.

Greencastle experienced periods of success inside in the second half - despite being smaller - behind Statler's nine points, but the Blue Devils were unable to get consistent offense elsewhere.

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