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Forecast favorable for 'Dogs in second half

February 26, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Martinsburg girls basketball coach Don Bullett took the Tri-State weather approach when it came to the Bulldogs' offense on Wednesday.

If you don't like what you see, wait five minutes and it will change.

In Bullett's case, he waited a half and the Bulldogs changed for the better. Martinsburg, which led by just two points at halftime, used a more patient approach to unleash a 23-point third quarter en route to a 61-48 victory over Jefferson in the West Virginia Class AAA Region II, Section 2 semifinal at Hedgesville High School.

"I wasn't really concerned (at halftime)," Bullett said. "In the first half we were in a hurry. We weren't patient at times. Then when we got more patient, we got the ball inside and got some good shots."

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Then, the waiting was over.

Martinsburg (12-10) began to overwhelm Jefferson (11-9) with the inside game as the Bulldogs worked the blocks, controlled the offensive glass and scored on countless putbacks to slowly pull away.

"Their offensive rebounding killed us," Jefferson coach Cheryl Roberts said. "They did the same thing last time. We have some small girls who can jump but they have all taller girls. There were times we weren't in position and that led to a lot of putbacks and second shots. I thought we could get a couple of them and take it the other way."

Martinsburg's reward is a date with Hedgesville for the Section 2 championship on Friday at 7 p.m. at Jefferson High School.

Martinsburg held a 22-20 lead at the half as neither team took command of the game. The Bulldogs began to work the ball through their offense, taking their time to allow things to open up.

The Bulldogs maintained the two-point edge until Jamie Robinson was fouled while scoring on a rebound for a three-point play, which ignited a 13-4 run to take a 39-28 lead. Ten of the points came off layups or putbacks.

"We did a nice job on the boards," Bullett said. "Jamie got some putbacks and Meredith (Bullett) and Mary Jane (Pavlik) did some good work rebounding for us."

Jefferson helped in its own demise by having trouble bringing the ball up the floor, which led to turnovers.

"I wanted to be up (at the half). I thought we could be up," Roberts said. "It was soothing and calming to be only behind by two with the way some of the local teams have been scoring against us. I told them what we needed to do, but we came out like we were asleep."

Jefferson only came within nine points the rest of the way.

Robinson led Martinsburg with 18 points while Bridget Merceruio added 10.

Keisha Thomas had 18 points for Jefferson.

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