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Leopards inch out win over Beall

February 28, 2004|by JACK HILL III

The Smithsburg Leopards used a balanced scoring attack and a late-game rally to earn a 44-43 victory over Beall in a Maryland Class 1A West first-round girls basketball playoff game.

"That was a tremendous high school basketball playoff game," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "There was a lot of intensity and electricity. I thought that both teams played extremely well on the defensive end."

Smithsburg (15-8) plays at Allegany - which defeated Hancock 68-33 Friday - in the region quarterfinal round Monday.

The Leopards held a 37-34 lead with four minutes remaining in the game before Kacey Kahl scored five straight points to put the Mountaineers (11-10) ahead 39-37 with three minutes to play.

But the Leopards responded with three baskets by Laura Best, Tara Knable and Teonna Jewell to go in front for good with a 43-39 lead with 17 seconds to go.

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Kahl hit a 3-pointer over a passive Smithsburg defense as the buzzer sounded for the game's final margin.

"We were fortunate to get some clutch baskets by different people in the fourth quarter," Fowkes added.

Tara Bywaters had 11 points and seven rebounds, while Candace Stanford added 10 points and eight rebounds for Smithsburg. Jewell got six rebounds and four steals, while Knable had four assists.

Kahl finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Amy Williams added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Mountaineers.

"What impressed me the most about Smithsburg was their rebounding," Beall coach Tim Nightengale said. "They rebounded very nicely, especially on the offensive boards. We had a successful season. Not many people thought that we would have a winning record."

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