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Leopards dial in for Antietam win

February 05, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - The telephone company would enjoy billing the Smithsburg boys basketball team for as much as it dialed long distance on Friday night.

If they receive a break, the Leopards might get a bulk connectivity discount on their bill after pasting Clear Spring with 10 3-pointers on the way to a 74-39 thrashing of the Blazers in an MVAL Antietam struggle.

Smithsburg (8-8, 5-4) fired up 26 shots from Ma Bell-land to counter Clear Spring's efforts to pack its defense around 6-foot-10 Clayton Marquiss down under the hoop.

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However, Andrew Bentley hit four treys, Andrew Bohan had three and Jeremy Rupert, Blake Nalley and Chris Brown each hit one to join the charge as Smithsburg rolled to a 48-point second half.

"We were ready to shoot if they gave it to us," said Bentley. "Their defense packed in on Clayton and we had some open looks. But I'm surprised we had that many shots."

The Leopards made an early statement with a 15-0 lead as Bentley went long twice and Nalley once, but the Blazers (0-17, 0-9) made the Leopards sweat in the second period as they clawed back to within eight points at halftime, 26-18.

To that point, Clear Spring used Cory Brown, Ken Shanholtz and Bryce Sigler in combinations to stop Marquiss, who went scoreless in the opening half, touching the basketball once on a feed and missing the shot and missing twice more on putback efforts.

"We struggled at the end of the first half not doing a good job on defense," said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber. "We talked at halftime about getting the intensity back on defense."

Offensively, the Leopards got Marquiss more involved and he responded with seven points to support Bohan's barrage of three bombs as the Leopards turned a 29-20 lead into a 40-20 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.

"We wanted to get more inside in the second half, using the guards to get into their zone and drop the ball off," Gerber said. "Even better, they were doing a good job of dropping it back for open 3-pointers.

"I'll take 30 points off of 26 3s any time," Gerber said.

Clear Spring coach Don Harnish was faced with the same results he's seen all season.

"We just don't play an entire game," he said. "We haven't all year and it was the same way we played the first time."

All 13 of Smithsburg's players that dressed broke into the scoring column with Bohan, Bentley and Marquiss each scoring 11 while Nalley added 10. Marquiss grabbed 15 rebounds and had six blocked shots.

Josh Keeney led Clear Spring with 10 points and Lorenzo Smith added eight, including one bucket on a nice stepback jumper away from Marquiss.

Smithsburg was 23 of 57 from the floor, while the Blazers shot just 10 of 25.

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