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Cougars make good of a bad situation

January 10, 2004|by JACK HILL III

The Catoctin girls basketball team didn't have an opportunity to play Follow The Leader on Friday.

Instead, the Cougars struck out on their own and played King of the Hill against South Hagerstown.

Catoctin was force to play without junior guard Emily Balogh, who missed the game with an illness, but didn't miss a beat by using a dominating first quarter to start the climb to a 52-24 victory over the Rebels in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League Antietam Conference game.

"Emily Balogh went to the hospital for what apparently might be the flu," Catoctin coach Tracey Kelley-Franklin said. "She is our leader in points, rebounds, steals and assists."

Catoctin put the game away immediately by taking advantage of many of South Hagerstown's first-quarter turnovers to score several easy buckets and build a 12-0 lead in the opening five minutes.

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The Cougars expanded the lead to 18-2 by the end of the period. Senior Jessica Blickenstaff scored 11 points and Becky Cuddahee added six points in the quarter to pace Catoctin (4-4, 2-0).

The quick start in the adverse situation pleaded Kelley-Franklin.

"I thought that the kids came out in the first quarter and played well," she said. "Becky Cuddahee replaced Emily Balogh and really stepped up for us. Jessica Blickenstaff really had a nice game for us tonight. Her shooting was good in the first quarter."

The Cougars moved to a 26-8 lead by halftime. Catoctin opened the second half with a 12-0 run to increase the advantage to 38-8.

"It seems like that we start off good in the first quarter, but then we drop off a little bit," Kelley-Franklin said. "I would like to see us continue shooting well throughout the game. I would like to see us stay consistent, instead of being hot and cold. I think that my girls are playing better every game. I want to see us work a little bit more on four or five different defensive sets."

Blickenstaff notched game-high totals of 17 points and 10 rebounds for Catoctin. Sara Wastler added 15 points, five steals and five assists for the Cougars, while Cuddahee scored 11 points and Katie Beth Williams grabbed seven rebounds.

A pair of reserves led South Hagerstown in scoring. Sophomore Sade Williams had eight points, while senior guard Shamika Slater scored six points. Slater came on to take over the ball-handling duties and helped South cut down its turnover problems a bit in the last three quarters.

"I think that South Hagerstown is starting to show a little bit of improvement and they are headed in the right direction," Kelley-Franklin said.

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