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Waeber carries Knights to win

March 05, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - Middletown freshman Kristin Waeber made her tournament debut with a first-half splash.

Her teammates took care of business in the second half as the Knights opened up their postseason with a 47-43 Class 2A West girls quarterfinal victory over Altholton on Tuesday.

Waeber poured in 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds - in the first 16 minutes - as she dominated Atholton's man defense. She hit 7 of 15 in the paint and made 4 of 7 at the line.

"I was so nervous before the game," Waeber said. "My teammates talked about the tournament and that just made me more nervous, but once the game started it wore off."

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Atholton (12-11) held its last lead, 10-9, late in the first period before Jill Martin scored to put the Knights back on top for what would be the remainder of the night.

Then, Waeber went to work with an illustrious 10 minutes.

Consecutive buckets by Waeber enabled Middletown to hold a 15-14 lead after the first quarter. She proceeded to score the next nine points for a 23-14 advantage and topped off the quarter with three free throws for a 26-23 halftime lead. That personal linescore showed Middletown's last 15 points of the first half and all 11 second-period points.

"I just kept posting up on them and I was getting easy looks," Waeber said. "I'm glad the first game is out of the way. I think I've gotten a lot of confidence from the whole season."

Atholton coach Maureen Shackreaw changed to a zone defense in the second half with Allie Scott shadowing Waeber. The strategy worked, frustrating Waeber enough that she sat on the sidelines for a spell in the third quarter.

"I took Kristin out with that zone so she could get her head back into the game," Middletown coach Kara Nelson said.

"As a freshman, she prepares herself so well for a game, but she was a little frustrated."

However, the rest of the Knights stepped up.

Middletown's scoring was spread out with Amber Holian hitting six and Jill Martin adding four, along with five big rebounds.

Atholton cut down Middletown's 37-28 lead entering the final stanza to 39-35 with 5:10 play on back-to-back hoops by Scott, but baskets by Jessica Metzner and Martin kept the Knights out front.

The Raiders sliced the gap to 45-43 on a 3-pointer by Katie MacFarland and Metzner put the Knights back up by four with another score in the paint with 26 seconds to play.

"We had trouble against the zone in the second half, just like we have had before," Nelson said.

Waeber ended with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Martin had 10 points and six rebounds.

Nelson admired the performance of Martin, calling her a "real team leader all season. It's not the points with her. It's the little stuff she does with hustle plays. She deserves more credit than what she gets."

Scott led the Raiders with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

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