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3rd time still charmed for Smithsburg girls

January 04, 2004|by JACK HILL III

Too bad for the Smithsburg girls basketball team that it doesn't play St. Maria Goretti every game.

Lucky for the Gaels, too.

The Leopards beat Goretti for the third time this season, 42-25 Saturday at the Gael Center, to improve to 3-5.

Smithsburg led 23-21 after the third quarter, before pulling away in the fourth.

Smithsburg was up by six points when Laura Best sank a pair of foul shots and made a basket to stretch the lead to 33-23 with 4:34 remaining.

"I thought that when Laura Best made those four quick points, that kind of sealed the win for us," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "We have got to give Goretti credit. They really played hard against us today. (Goretti coach Todd Rideout) did a good job of having his girls prepared for the game today. One of our assets is that we play pretty well defensively. We just have to improve on the offensive end."

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Senior center Tara Knable led Smithsburg (3-5) with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

"We were a little slow getting going," Knable said. "But then we used what we had and kept control of the game. We tried to get the ball inside, take the open shot and make better passes during the second half. That enabled our team to be successful."

Knable said Smithsburg still has a lot of potential for this season.

"We think that we have a shot of being near the top in the Antietam Conference," she said. "We are starting to jell and function better as a team. Once we get to that peak performance that we are all capable of doing, there will be no looking back."

The Leopards also got some support from their sophomores. Tara Bywaters had nine points and four steals, while Teonna Jewell had nine points and three steals and Kenzie Bowen added 10 rebounds and four steals.

The Leopards' defense prevented any Gaels player from scoring more than six points.

Katie Martin led St. Maria Goretti (5-9) with 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

"They did a good job of taking our two shooters out of the game," Rideout said. "They pressed us and we made turnovers down there that led to easy baskets. They just took control of us in the fourth quarter."

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