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Leopards, Gaels fall at Draper

December 28, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Tangibles became intangibles for the Smithsburg and St. Maria Goretti girls basketball teams.

The Leopards tried to make a grade and failed, while the Gaels had time go everywhere but on their side Monday in the opening games of the sixth annual Pap Draper Classic.

Smithsburg took an early-season shot at preparing for the Class 1A playoffs by facing Elizabeth Seton, one of those Baltimore city schools which had given the Leopards trouble over the years. It was more of the same - the Roadrunners weathered a storm in the second quarter and pulled away for a 51-29 win, as center Catrise Cannady scored nine of her 15 points in the third quarter.

"This was like a playoff game for us," said Smithsburg's acting coach Jimmy Powell. "I told them this was like the games we get against teams like Dunbar from down there during the tournament. We didn't grade real well today - like a C or a D - because we had trouble handling the pressure."

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It wasn't much better for Goretti, which had more trouble with the style of play than Fort Hill.

The Gaels lost to the Sentinels and the shot clock as all continuity went out the window in the 56-19 loss.

"Their pressure bothered us, but the other part of it was the 30-second clock," said Goretti coach Marie McEwen. "We play a lot of schools that don't play with the clock. We took the time to run the offense and couldn't get used to running it with the clock and got into some trouble."

Smithsburg (2-3) will face Goretti (6-6) in the consolation game at 6 p.m. today, followed by Elizabeth Seton (7-1) and Fort Hill (4-2) for the championship at 8.

For Smithsburg, it was a battle against an aggressive and athletic team.

Seton's quickness forced the Leopards to move a step faster and react a second quicker than they would like and it caused many offensive breakdowns and numerous missed shots.

"Their pressure caused a lot of problems," Powell said. "I think we were afraid to fail. I think going in our kids didn't think they could win."

Seton ran off a 10-0 run to build a 14-2 lead before holding on for a 16-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Smithsburg missed its chance to overtake the Roadrunners in the second quarter when the Leopards held them without a basket. But the Leopards managed only one hoop while Seton hit 7 of 18 foul shots and pulled away to a 23-12 halftime lead.

Cannady ignited the second half and Seton pulled away to the comfortable victory. Molly Powell led Smithsburg with six points while Robyn Burton had 13 for Seton.

"This has been the story all year. We play good defense and get it going, but can't put the ball in the hole," Jimmy Powell said. "Athletically, they were superior, but if we would have shot better, we could have won this game."

Goretti scored the first basket of the game before Fort Hill unleashed a 21-0 run to take total control. The Sentinels held Goretti without a basket for a 12:57 span as the Gaels missed 15 straight shots, turned the ball over eight times and only hit 1 of 6 foul shots to fall behind 30-6 at the half.

Amanda McDonald led Fort Hill with 11 points while Destiny George topped the Gaels with four.

"We have nine new players out of our 14," McEwen said. "They are learning and it's a constant process of re-organizing and reshuffling. It's very difficult and frustrating, but we have to approach it as looking and learning."

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