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Rebels bounce Blazers

February 09, 2005|BY TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - As the 84-game losing streak became history with its victory on Saturday, Clear Spring's girls basketball team had good reason to be optimistic heading into its MVAL Antietam game against South Hagerstown on Tuesday.

South coach Stacey Zeger knew the Blazers would be revved up and cautioned her Rebels to be ready to play during her pregame talk.

The message was received and the Rebels used an immediate surge from the opening tip to put the clamps down on the Blazers in a 50-36 victory.

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"I talked to the girls about coming out and being ready to play because we knew they would be excited after their win," Zeger said. "We came out confident and probably had the most energy we've had in a game all year."

South (2-18, 2-14), posing matchup problems for Clear Spring on the post and with quicker guard play, went right to work off the opening tip as Jamie Fowler scored the first two of her team-leading 13 points.

After a free throw, Caitlin Nicewarner hit a bucket and Fowler followed with a jumper from the left wing for a 7-0 lead before Clear Spring's Leigh Ann Bearden hit a shot from the key at the 4:24 mark.

South went on a 9-0 run, dominating the glass with 17 rebounds, including eight on offense, on the way to a 16-4 lead which eventually stretched to 28-11 at halftime.

"South really wanted it in the first half," said Clear Spring coach Erin Wadel. "I don't really know what it is about my girls. I know there was excitement, but they really came out dead in general at the beginning of the game."

By halftime, South was handling Clear Spring on the boards 28-12 and shooting nearly 50 percent compared to the Blazers hitting 22 percent and displayed total control.

"We talked about some certain strategies at halftime," Wadel said.

South quickly moved out to a 34-14 lead led by two putbacks from Nicewarner but suddenly a gradual change in momentum was taking place.

Two baskets each from Courtney Smith and Leslie Morgan helped fuel a 12-0 run as the Blazers began to take advantage of some South carelessness and arouse the home fans, pulling within 34-26 with 1:25 to go.

Nicewarner stemmed the tide with a bucket, but Carly Snyder drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer from 35 feet and the Blazers were down 36-29 heading to the fourth quarter.

"We got ahead of ourselves and let down on the game," said Zeger.

The Rebels regrouped and immediately jumped back out to a 43-29 with four points from Fowler and a goal from Casey Dorsey with 5:30 to play.

"This was one of our better appearances of putting almost four good quarters together," Zeger said of the Rebels, who shot 20 of 49 from the field. "We thought we had the better matchup on the inside game and they had trouble with our 2-1-2 press."

South hammered Clear Spring on the boards 52-37, with Nicewarner pulling down 14 boards. The Rebels ended with 20 offensive rebounds. Amy Clipp also had seven rebounds.

Snyder and Maggie Wolford each had eight points and Smith added seven as the Blazers shot 15 of 58 for 26 percent. Bearden had seven rebounds.

"We recognized their defense better when we came back and made things happen in the post," Wadel said.

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