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Smithsburg runs away from Goretti, 56-31

December 29, 2004|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - It took about half of the game for the Smithsburg girls basketball team to get its offense going.

But once the Leopards started, they were able to pull away for a 56-31 victory over the St. Maria Goretti Gaels on Tuesday night in the consolation game of the sixth annual Pap Draper Classic at Smithsburg.

"I thought that we executed our offense a little better," said Smithsburg coach Jimmy Powell, whose team fell 51-29 to Elizabeth Seton in the first round Monday. "Basically, we came out and played good defense and we rebounded the ball real well. We got some nice transition baskets off of our rebounds and steals. We ran our transition game much better, and we passed the ball well tonight."

Senior forward Candace Stanford and junior guards Tara Bywaters and Teonna Jewell led Smithsburg (3-3) in scoring with 11 points apiece.

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Jewell also had seven steals and two blocked shots, while Stanford pulled down eight rebounds. Molly Powell dished out five assists for the Leopards, while Jewell and Stanford had three assists each. Laura Sudec, a 6-foot-1 junior center, and Bywaters grabbed five rebounds each for Smithsburg.

"Molly did a good job of looking for the open players tonight," Powell said. "She especially passed very well to the inside players tonight. I think that we showed a lot more hustle and desire tonight. We always play all 11 of our players every game."

Bywaters scored eight of her points during the first quarter to help Smithsburg take a 12-8 lead.

Goretti (6-7) hung tough, trailing 14-11 with four minutes remaining in the second quarter, before the Leopards went on a 9-0 run on the way to a 23-13 halftime lead.

Smithsburg put the game away by scoring the first 18 points of the third quarter to build a 41-13 lead. Jewell got six of her points in the period.

Sarah Spierenburg and Tasha Deneen led Goretti with seven points each. Spierenburg also blocked five shots.

"The girls stepped up from last night and played much more aggressively," said Goretti coach Marie McEwen, whose team lost 56-19 to Fort Hill on Monday. "We were doing it defensively. We just weren't putting points in the basket. We're progressing and we're getting better with every game. We were staying with them and, defensively, we were able to do it. Offensively, we have got to make the plays work better. We just didn't get the right shots."

Elizabeth Seton defeated Fort Hill 46-34 in the championship game.

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