Cold Leopards do enough for victory

February 01, 2004


SMITHSBURG - Redemption may have been the intention, but Smithsburg senior guard Nathan Steelman made reality the rule.

On a night when the Leopards boys basketball team watched a double-digit lead evaporate three times through missed opportunities against rival Boonsboro, Steelman stepped to the line with just over a minute to play and coolly dropped in four straight free throws Friday to lead Smithsburg to a 44-40 MVAL Antietam win over the Warriors.

"All those shots down the stretch were big for us," Steelman said. "We had to put ourselves in a position that Boonsboro had to work harder to win. When those shots dropped, it was a relief."

Smithsburg hit nine of 10 free throws in the last minute of the game, overshadowing the late heroics of the Warriors' Jay Love and Kellen Seligman, who each nailed a 3-pointer with just under 20 seconds left.


Seligman's shot, a banked 30-footer from the left side of the key pulled Boonsboro within 42-40 with eight seconds to play.

But Smithsburg's T.J. Bowser stepped to the line and dropped in both ends of a one-and-one to ice the game.

The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Leopards (3-11, 1-5), who got the victory despite 6-for-38 shooting from inside the 3-point line and 12-for-53 overall.

"We struggled offensively," Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said. "Steelman and Bowser bailed us out and got us going a couple of times, though. When you shoot as poorly as we did and win a game, you're lucky. But we'll take it."

Steelman, playing out of position due to the absence of point guard Drew Crawford, opened the game hitting three 3s and a layup in the first five minutes for 11 of his game-high 15 points.

In the second half, Bowser drained a pair of 3s to give the Leopards a 27-23 lead early in the fourth quarter.

"Our focus wasn't there," Boonsboro coach Sam Connelly said. "We couldn't make our foul shots and even though I thought we were getting good looks, we couldn't seem to build any momentum."

The Warriors (3-11, 1-5) were just 6-for-20 from the foul line and had numerous turnovers, many coming in the tight fourth quarter.

"We didn't come out ready to play," Connelly said. "You can't do that on the road and win games."

Kyle Davis had 14 points and Brad Wetzel had 11 for Boonsboro.

No. 3 Thomas Johnson 54, Frederick 36

FREDERICK, Md. - Colby Jackson scored 10 points, Drew Gaeng dished out six assists and J.R. Brady had seven rebounds for Thomas Johnson (12-2, 5-0) as the Patriots held Frederick (7-6, 4-2) to just 13 first-half points in their MVAL Chesapeake victory.

Steel-High 53, No. 5 Chambersburg 45

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Jonathan Motichka led Chambersburg with 13 points as the Trojans shot 38 percent in a Mid-Penn Commonwealth loss to Steel-High (16-3, 11-1).

Jared Olson scored 11 points, Colby Nitterhouse had 10 and Daniel Baker had seven rebounds for Chambersburg (11-9, 7-6).

Towson Catholic 49, No. 9 Goretti 40

TOWSON, Md. - St. Maria Goretti couldn't hold its halftime lead as the Gaels lost to Towson Catholic in the Baltimore Catholic League.

The Gaels led 23-21 at the break, but were outscored by Towson Catholic 12-4 in the third period to turn the tide.

Mike Nelson had 18 points and five rebounds, while Joey Spierenburg had 10 points for the Gaels (10-11, 1-8).

Towson Catholic improves to 13-8, 3-5.

St. James 71, St. Andrews 66

ST. JAMES - St. James took advantage of St. Andrews turnovers in overtime to get its first victory in the Mid Atlantic Conference.

The Saints made steals on the first three St. Andrews possessions of the overtime period and converted them to layups as they pulled away.

Jordan Ottley had 17 points and five steals, while Matt Greissing added 15 points, 14 rebounds and five steals for the Saints (6-7, 1-5). Shannon Strange had 14 points and Miles Chan had 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Catoctin 64, Brunswick 59

BRUNSWICK, Md. - K.C. Simmel had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead Catoctin to an MVAL Antietam victory over Brunswick.

John Tumulty had 11 points and six assists, while Derrick Thompson had 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Cougars (6-6, 4-1).

Billy Bernard had 13 points, five assists and five steals and Chad Baker had 13 rebounds for the Railroaders (6-7, 2-4). Cody Hickerson had 13 points and Alex Papanicolas had 10 points, nine rebounds and five steals.

Southern Fulton 65, Fannett-Metal 41

WARFORDSBURG, Pa. - Will Schriver had 10 points and nine rebounds to lead Southern Fulton to a Sideling Hill League victory over Fannett-Metal.

Brock Flowers had 13 points and four assists, while Danny True had 10 points for the Indians (14-4, 9-2).

Fannett-Metal falls to 7-9, 4-6.

Berkeley Springs 70, Moorefield 62

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Ryan Morris scored 23 points and Tony Belt had 19 for Berkeley Springs (4-7) in the Indians' win over Moorefield (5-5).

Heritage Academy 70, Broadfording 60

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