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North answers against South

January 14, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

There were two questions to be answered heading into Monday's girls basketball battle between North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown.

Who would escape the Monocacy Valley Athletic League basement and get their first win of the year over someone other than Clear Spring?

In a hotly contested 32 minutes, it was North that ended up with a 42-37 victory despite a horrid shooting evening that resulted in 24 percent shooting from both the field and the foul line.

"We're certainly not afraid to shoot the ball from anywhere," said North coach Helen Mency. "Before the game I didn't know if the girls were anxious or nervous, but they played with heart tonight."

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The Hubs (3-7, 1-5) picked up their first MVAL victory despite 18 of 75 shooting from the field and 6 of 25 from the charity stripe. It was a bit of a clutch performance by senior guard Christine Ennis, who popped in three goals in the fourth quarter to help withstand a late South rally.

Trailing extensively throughout the game, the Rebels (1-7, 0-5) got untracked at the outset of the fourth period to forge a 33-33 tie on two free throws by Caitlin Nicewarmer and a goal by Jamie Fowler with 5:40 play.

After Maria Winebrenner put the Hubs back on top with 4:25 to play, Ennis knocked down three buckets to keep the Rebels at bay, also due in part by the fact they had six turnovers in their last eight possessions.

Ennis' third hoop with 58 seconds left on a 15-foot jumper put the final dagger into the Rebels, who did not score in the final 2:22 of the contest.

"The girls were well aware of the crosstown battle and that it was to get out of last place," said Mency, who was once a star athlete at South Hagerstown.

"I started drawing up some plays during timeouts in the fourth quarter that they had not practiced, but they did a great job of executing."

South, down by seven most of the night through the middle periods, fought back gallantly. Sophomore Jamie Fowler was the catalyst with 11 of her team-high 13 points in the second half rally.

"Ennis is a tough player for them (North)," said South coach Patty Leazier. "We got back in the game when we changed some defenses. We just had the turnovers at the end of the game. It is a learning process and we are young, but I'm taking away nothing but positives from tonight."

Ennis, on 7 of 17 shooting, led North with 15 points. Sophomore Chelsea Clark used her 6-foot-2 frame to haul down 14 rebonds for the Hubs, who won the backboard battle, 53-44. Nicewarmer had 10 rebounds for South.

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