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Eagles weather Blue Storm

January 16, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - What Tiffany Linn and Samantha Guell started, the rest of their Hedgesville teammates finished Wednesday night at Mercersburg Academy.

Linn scored 11 of her team-high 17 points in the first quarter while Guell dumped in all 12 of hers in the first half as the No. 6 Eagles (8-3) took a commanding 39-19 lead at the break on their way to a 67-37 girls hoops win over the Blue Storm (3-6).

"It was our best shooting night of the year, and we got everyone involved," said Hedgesville coach Ben Merica, whose squad shot 48 percent (30 of 62) from the field and got scoring from nine players.

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The Eagles opened with an 8-0 run to take the lead for good and closed the second quarter on a 12-1 spurt to all but seal the deal by halftime.

"Those little spurts were very important," said Merica. "... We've had a few bad quarters this season where we only score two or three points, but barring that, I thought we had pretty much put it away."

Guell had her hot hands in both of the key first-half surges, canning a pair of 3-pointers in each.

"It was all my teammates," said Guell, one of Hedgesville's three freshmen starters. "They penetrated, dished out the ball and I just started shooting. I was wide open."

"Everyone moved the ball really well, and we got some good, open looks," said Linn. "We just play hard. (Mercersburg was) working hard and hustling, but we just tried to match it and play better."

Kelsey Shipper picked up the Eagles' scoring load in the second half with all 10 of her points, while grabbing five of her team-high six rebounds.

Mercersburg was led by senior guard Ashleigh Parker, who finished with 17 points, and senior forward Anna Petry, who grabbed a game-high 11 boards and added six points.

"They were just shooting everything. Everything was falling for them," said Petry. "We got a little rattled, but we tried to play hard until the end."

While first-year Blue Storm coach Don Porter has already tripled Mercersburg's win output from last year, he's still expecting more from his squad.

"We're better than what we're showing," said Porter. "We work hard in practice. It all comes down to execution. ... We're going to get there."

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