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Powell earns scoring record

January 27, 2003|By ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Katy Powell said she doesn't take any of her points for granted.

But the Smithsburg senior guard has scored so many of them in her career that the big numbers have come to be expected.

That's why the gymnasium was filled, the balloons and flowers were ready and the banners were waving Friday night for the No. 9 Leopards' Monocacy Valley Athletic League matchup with visiting South Hagerstown.

With Powell - who averages an area-leading 23.7 points per game - needing just 13 points to break the Smithsburg girls career scoring record, anticipation was high.

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The Leopards star didn't disappoint. With 2 minutes, 46 seconds left in the first half, Powell grabbed an offensive rebound in the paint and put it back up for her 12th and 13th points of the game and 1,475 in her career - eclipsing the mark set by 1982 Smithsburg grad Julie Salmon-Houfe.

"It's really an honor, especially considering how many great players we've had come through here," said Powell, who finished with a game-high 25 points to pace the Leopards (9-4, 6-3) to a convincing 55-36 victory. "To be at the top of the list of those elite names is incredible."

Immediately after Powell broke the record, the game stopped for her teammates, coaches, parents and fans to offer their congratulations. And Salmon-Houfe, who lives in Hagerstown, was there to present her with the game ball.

"It's kind of neat that someone actually broke it," said Salmon-Houfe, who went on to star at Rutgers University. "It had to happen sometime."

For Powell, who recently made a verbal commitment to continue her career at McDaniel College, that time was Friday.

She drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to open the game's scoring and quickly tacked on five more points as the Leopards started on a 17-0 run on their way to a 22-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Rebels (1-11, 0-9) never got any closer than 15 the rest of the way.

"The big crowd gave us a lot of emotion to start the game," said Smithsburg coach - and Powell's father - Jimmy Powell. "The kids were excited to get out there and play."

Any pre-game nervousness Katy Powell may have been feeling seemed to quickly vanish.

"I'm pretty nervous before every game," she said. "But once the ball gets thrown up, adrenaline takes over."

Powell - last year's Herald-Mail small-school player of the year and the only returning starter from last season's Smithsburg squad that advanced to the state finals - said just playing basketball has been her drive. The points have just happened to follow.

"I'm not about a lot of hype, but I appreciate it," she said. "I just like to play. And I've always been blessed with good teams, so that's made it easier."

"I'm very proud of her," said Jimmy Powell. "She's a wonderful student, a nice kid and a good leader for this team. She plays hard every night."

The Leopards also got 10 points each from Heather Bywaters and Tara Bywaters on Friday. Jamie Fowler, who went 11 of 13 from the foul line, paced South with 13 points.

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