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Father, daughter live hoops dream

Jimmy and Katy Powell bring passion to Smithsburg's girls basketball team

Jimmy and Katy Powell bring passion to Smithsburg's girls basketball team

March 14, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - On a winter day six years ago, Katy Powell wanted to shoot hoops.

Never mind there was more than a foot of snow on her family's driveway. School was closed, and she wasn't about to let perfectly good basketball time go to waste.

"I came home ... and she's shoveling the driveway," Katy's father, Jimmy Powell, said Wednesday. "There's 16 inches of snow, and she's in sixth grade. I asked her what she was doing, and she said, 'I haven't shot the ball in two days. I need to practice.'"

Fast forward six years and many, many practices later. Katy is the star player on Smithsburg's girls team. Jimmy is the coach.

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Behind the leadership of father and daughter, the Leopards made the Class 1A state Final Four for the second consectutive year and will play Pocomoke in the semifinals at University of Maryland-Baltimore County tonight at 7.

"We're both very similar personalities," Katy said. "We're very competitive and very headstrong, (but) we often see things the same way. ... I love (the game) almost as much as he does."

Katy has grown into her role as leader of the Leopards. She can often be seen giving instructions and/or encouragement to her teammates, either during timeouts or stoppages on the floor.

She's also been given the freedom to alter the X's and O's as need be - which helped turn the tide in Smithsburg's 52-35 regional final victory against Southern Garrett.

"We were trying to get her in the post, and ... they helped too much on her down there, so she called timeout," Jimmy said. "She walks up to me and says, 'Let's play a 1-4, they can't stop me and I can break them down.'"

With Katy calling her own number on isolation plays - and finishing with 30 points - the Leopards sprinted away from the Rams in the second half.

"Ultimately, he has the final say (in coaching decisions), but he also has some faith in us, so if we want to change something on the fly, we have that liberty," Katy said. "If he doesn't like it, he calls timeout."

Both Powells agreed coaching may be Katy's calling.

"I could see myself (coaching)," Katy said. "He's very passionate with what he does, and he's passed that on to me."

"I think she'd be a natural," Jimmy said. "If you ask most people in Smithsburg, they'll tell you she's coaching the team anyway."

For at least one more day, though, Katy will don the purple and yellow Smithsburg uniform and take to the court as a player.

"She's had the time of her life," Jimmy said. "We want to keep it rolling for two more games."

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