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Making it real

Middletown girls get season started with MVAL win over Williamsport

Middletown girls get season started with MVAL win over Williamsport

December 16, 2002|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - Blame it on the snow.

After being cooped up in its own gym for a month, Middletown's girls basketball team was champing at the proverbial bit to see different faces in different colored uniforms.

That might explain why the Knights came out like caged tigers in their 72-50, season-opening victory over Williamsport in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game Friday night.

"We had a couple of games snowed out, and these girls were ready to play," said Middletown coach Kara Nelson. "They were so tired of seeing each other at the other end of the court. They wanted to play somebody different."

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Nowhere was that more evident than at the defensive end, where the Knights unleashed a full-court, man-to-man press the likes of which Williamsport (2-1, 2-1) had seen.

"We've had only one practice in the last seven days," said Wildcats coach Kevin Murphy. "We played last Saturday, we didn't practice Sunday, we play Monday, and practiced Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday there was no school, but I don't think it would have made any difference, anyway. It's tough to simulate that in practice. Middletown was impressive. They forced a lot of mistakes, and they have a lot of depth. Those kids just keep coming out at you. They're a couple notches ahead of anything we've seen this year."

Not only did the Knights harass Williamsport defensively, they also pounded the offensive boards for numerous second-and-third-chance buckets.

"Rebounding just comes from playing hard." said Nelson, "I thought our kids played hard tonight. I'm real pleased with our overall performance."

Forcing 15 first-half turnovers and enjoying a decisive advantage on the glass, Middletown cruised to a 22-6 lead after the first eight minutes.

But cutting their turnovers down to six in the second quarter helped the Wildcats keep pace, finishing the half facing the same 16-point deficit after Lindsay Plotner poured in seven of her 15 points for Williamsport.

Any comeback hopes Williamsport may have entertained at the intermission were quickly extinguished as the Knights - sparked by Amber Holian's six points, and aided by 13 more Williamsport turnovers - went on a 19-7 third period run for a 55-27 lead entering the final eight minutes to secure the win. The Wildcats attempted just four third-quarter shots.

"You just can't compete with a team like Middletown if you're going to turn the ball over like that," said Murphy. "It's just not gonna happen."

Middletown 72, Williamsport 50


Middletown (72)

Summers 10, Shannon 2, Holian 16, Mannis 6, Wheeler 2, Metzner 3, Martin 9, Waeber 7, Steger 6, Sutton 9, Totals 30 11-19 72.

Williamsport (50)

Clingan 2, Scuffins 8, Cole 3, Grabill 6, Plotner 15, Hamilton 10, Taylor 4, Hardin 2, Totals 17 16-25 50.

Middletown 22 14 19 17 - 72

Williamsport 6 14 7 23 - 50

Three-point goals - Middletown 1 (Mannis). JV - Middletown, 50-10.

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