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Wilsons rattle Leopards

March 02, 2004|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

CUMBERLAND, Md. - In the old television sitcom "Dennis the Menace," a precocious child torments a much-ruffled gentleman named Wilson in each and every episode.

But even Dennis may have had trouble rattling these Wilsons.

Allegany junior Erin Wilson coaxed her teammates to stay close to Smithsburg. She scored 15 of her game-high 23 points in the second quarter, while her cousin, Casey Wilson, drained two straight momentum-changing 3-pointers in the third period as the Campers outlasted the Leopards 50-35 in a Maryland Class 1A West girls basketball quarterfinal game at Allegany on Monday.

Smithsburg (15-9), which led 24-17 at halftime, fell behind late in the third period and never recovered.

"They beat us on the boards in the second half," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "Allegany is a good, solid team and they just kept battling until things went their way."

But things didn't always go the Campers' way, especially early in the first half. Smithsburg used a combination of hustle from guards Shannon Fowkes, Teanna Jewell and Tara Bywaters and the muscle of Tara Knable under the glass to build an 11-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

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Smithsburg's double-trap man defense frustrated the Campers (16-8), as several times Allegany guards were forced to pick up the dribble and subsequently turned the ball over.

But Erin Wilson opened the second quarter hitting a 3 from the top of the key, and then went on to single-handedly outscore the Leopards in the period, cutting her team's halftime deficit to 24-17.

The third quarter started well for the Leopards, as Knable powered in a layup in the lane, but Smithsburg did not score again until the 33-second mark of the period, a draught of more than 7 minutes.

"We were getting good looks, but the shots just wouldn't go in," Fowkes said. "They made the most of their offensive opportunities and we didn't."

The Campers also took advantage of several second-chance shots under the glass that the Leopards struggled to clear out.

But the real turning point came with Smithsburg clinging to a 26-25 lead with just under 2 minutes left in the third quarter. Casey Wilson hit a long 3 from the top left of the key and followed it up with another 3 from the same spot on the very next possession. Erin Wilson followed that with a driving layup down the center of the lane and the Campers did not look back.

A pair of free throws by Jewell brought the Leopards to within 38-30 with just under 4 minutes left, but the Wilsons each scored a pair of layups to preserve the Allegany lead.

"I'm proud of my kids. We are young and we had some success this season," Fowkes said. "We have a good, solid group coming back next year."

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