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Leopards' strength too much for Hubs

February 21, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Just when Chelsea Clark had found her rhythm and North Hagerstown's girls basketball team showed signs of life against Smithsburg, Clark's fourth foul sent her to the bench, left the Hubs reeling and propelled the Leopards to an important victory.

Tara Knable and Candace Stanford attacked the Hubs inside for 15 points each, and with Clark out of the game, Smithsburg used a 6-1 run in the final two minutes of the third quarter to re-establish control in a 52-41 victory Friday night that locked up second place in the MVAL Antietam.

"That was the game right there," Hubs coach Barry Borwn said. "Her being in foul trouble had a major impact on us offensively, and it's hard for us to overcome that."

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Teonna Jewell's driving, coast-to-coast floater off the glass beat the third-quarter buzzer and gave Smithsburg (13-8, 10-3) a 37-27 lead.

"That just gave us momentum going into the last quarter," Leopards coach Bill Fowkes said.

The Hubs cut the lead to seven after baskets by Tiffany Jordan and Clark with less than four minutes left, but Smithsburg closed the door.

Clark finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds to lead North (8-12, 7-6), but freshman Cara Thompson was held to just four points, mostly because of the defense of Smithsburg's Shannon Fowkes.

"Shannon did a great job on Cara," Bill Fowkes said. "She shut her down. We knew the key was to keep the ball out of her hands."

"She took Cara out of her game, and we didn't make the adjustments to get Cara back involved in the game," Brown said.

None of the Hubs had much success in the first half, in which North made only 7 of 30 shots and missed several opportunities from within two feet.

"That's been the story of our season, too," Fowkes said. "So many easy shots aren't falling for us. Tonight was their night for the shots not to fall."

Knable had eight points - including five of Smithsburg's first six - and Stanford added seven points as the duo established its presence inside. All eight of Stanford's second-half points came in the fourth quarter.

"Offensively, Candace was our spark," Fowkes said. "She rose to the occasion."

"We couldn't establish any kind of flow tonight playing from behind," Brown said. "They came out and played their game and played better than us. They were far more aggressive than we were."

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