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Not the same old North

December 20, 2003|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - Deep down, North Hagerstown's Chelsea Clark realizes the way her basketball team is perceived by opponents. After all, the Hubs did earn the dubious distinction last season of winning just five games in 21 tries.

But in 32 gritty minutes Friday night, Clark and the Hubs fired off a message that they won't be anyone's punching bag anymore.

Clark powered in 10 straight points in the paint to open the fourth quarter and ripped down rebound after rebound as the Hubs got their first win for rookie coach Barry Brown slipping by Williamsport, 47-40.

"We have changed this year - you better believe it," Clark said. "We have several players who want to step up and be a leader and when the time comes, someone will do it."

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And on this night, it was Clark who set the tone.

Clark finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, while freshman forward Cara Thompson added 19 points and 13 boards to lead North (1-3) to its first win over Williamsport (1-3) in over a decade.

For Brown, who returned to his high school alma mater for the game, the win was bittersweet.

"This is certainly exciting -getting our first win and all, but this was my school," Brown said. "I have known and respected Coach (Curtis) Graff and Coach (Glenn) Smith it seems all my life.

"But our kids needed this. We've been working hard to get things turned in the right direction."

Clark went on her tear just after Kellyn Cole put Williamsport up 26-25 by sinking the back end of a two-shot foul.

In five straight trips down the floor, Clark deftly rolled in layups as the Hubs broke out to a 35-31 lead with just under four minutes to play.

Lindsey Plotner, who had a game-high 22 points, and Staci Grabill (14 points) kept the Wildcats close, breaking the Hubs' diamond-and-one defense and drawing some close contact fouls.

"We didn't get it done on the glass," Williamsport coach Curtis Graff said. "Defensively we played well, but we are still out of sync on offense."

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