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South stands tall in win over Blazers

February 11, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Literally and figuratively, South Hagerstown's Caitlin Nicewarner towered above Clear Spring on Tuesday night.

Nicewarner scored seven of her 12 points in the first quarter and had a team-high 12 rebounds as the Rebels dominated play inside and kept the Blazers winless with a 50-31 victory.

"Caitlin had a double-double, and we really did dominate the boards, said South coach Stacey Zeger, whose team rolled up a 67-41 rebounding advantage. "When we have our big girls going like that, we're hard to beat."

"Nicewarner's got height on all of our girls, and she can definitely rebound," Clear Spring coach Erin Grossnickle said.

After the first of Megan Blickenstaff's four 3-pointers pulled Clear Spring (0-13, 0-7) within a point at 6-5, South (2-15, 2-7) outscored the Blazers 17-3 the rest of the half. Clear Spring, forced to shoot primarily from the outside, made only 2 of 19 shots in the half and was outrebounded, 32-20.

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"The last couple days in practice, we've emphasized being more aggressive both on offense and defense, and they came out and showed it tonight," Zeger said.

The Rebels pushed the lead to 20 points twice in the third quarter before the Blazers surprised South with a full-court press, forcing six turnovers in the final three minutes of the frame to start a 9-0 run and end the quarter down nine, 33-22.

"This was a better meeting than the first game," Grossnickle said, adding later, "I keep telling them defense is going to win more games than their shooting, and they're starting to pull together."

But South scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter and hit the boards again to seal off the Blazers.

Jamie Fowler had 12 points for the Rebels.

Blickenstaff, a sophomore, finished with a game-high 14 points and 10 steals for Clear Spring. Jen Hull - a recent addition from the JV squad - added 10 rebounds.

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