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Lions show old form vs. North

December 13, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Walkersville played like a defending state champion.

North Hagerstown played like a team looking to find some respectability.

The end result was what was expected. Walkersville handled North 78-40 on Friday night for the Lions' third straight win of the young season while the Hubs fell to 0-2.

Walkersville coach Mike Mathis said he thought his veteran Lions, who only lost Koffie Harrison from last year's Maryland Class 2A state title team, were a little sluggish in the start offensively.

Sluggish? The Lions only rolled to a 52-19 lead at halftime, hitting 17 of 33 shots from the field. But most of those scores were forced from its defense.

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Walkersville's half-court trap pressured the young Hubs into 23 first-half turnovers.

"We were impatient on offense early but we seemed to relax in the third period," Mathis said. "Our defense is at its best when we trap half-court."

The pressure allowed Walkersville to score numerous buckets on the inside as Chelsea Trout and Gina Casadei popped in 19 and 16 points by the break.

To its credit, however, North did not fold up the tent in coach Barry Brown's home debut.

"We lost tonight but I am totally pleased," Brown said. "We just played the defending champions ... we did not quit at all."

Junior center Chelsea Clark used her 6-foot-2 frame to lead North with 16 points and 10 rebounds, despite a lackluster 6-for-15 performance at the free-throw line.

Freshman Cara Thompson added 15 points in her home debut and was 6 of 12 from the field including a 3-pointer.

"I really like these kids we have," Brown said. "They'll learn to minimize the mistakes and as long as they get a little better each time they step on the court, then I can handle a loss."

Actually, North's effort produced 29 shots from the foul line, two more than Walkersville. The difference was 51 percent shooting by the Hubs compared to the Lions' 82 percent.

There was little doubt of the outcome after Walkersville used a 16-point run to pull away after leading only 8-6 after the first four minutes. Trout led the way with seven points in the flurry.

"I'm happy starting 3-0 coming off last year," Mathis said. "We played pretty solid on offense but we'll do some more work on defense."

Trout finished with 26 points and Casadei with 22, both in three quarters of work.

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