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TJ's bounce too much for Leopards

December 11, 2003|by JACK HILL III

Thomas Johnson's fountain of youth poured over Smithsburg in a girls basketball game Wednesday night, as the Patriots defeated the Leopards, 64-48.

"Our young players are a quick team," TJ coach Amy Schmuck said. "They can see the floor well and they can mesh together. One of our benefits is that our young players are very athletic. That is a positive thing for us."

Four of the five starters for Thomas Johnson (1-1) are underclassmen and all of them made solid contributions.

Freshman Kem Wilson came through with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore Sam Koehl had 17 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Junior Porsche Dorsey added 14 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Veronica Ashby grabbed 10 rebounds. The Patriots outrebounded the Leopards, 39-21.

Koehl and Wilson combined to score 14 points during the first quarter to help Thomas Johnson take a 22-10 lead. Dorsey pulled down six rebounds in the period as the Patriots outrebounded the Leopards 13-4 during the first quarter.

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Fueled by seven points from Wilson, Thomas Johnson outscored Smithsburg 13-5 during the first 5:10 of the second quarter to build its lead to 35-15.

Smithsburg (0-2) is trying to shake off its early season shooting slump. Even though the Leopards have four of their five starters returning from last year, they have only scored a total of 85 points during their first two games.

"We still have some work on offense to do," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "We need a little bit better shooting. We had some shots, but we weren't able to knock them down. We just got off to a bad start in the first quarter. During the last three quarters, we played them almost even. We just have to get out of the blocks a little bit better."

Senior center Tara Knable led Smithsburg with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Tara Bywaters scored 11 points and Shannon Fowkes dished off six assists for the Leopards.

Smithsburg cut its deficit to 39-25 by halftime and then down to 49-41 by the end of the third quarter, before TJ put the game away in the fourth.

"I am really proud of how our team battled back after it looked like they were going to blow us out of the gym," Fowkes said.

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