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McCoy spells McTrouble for Panthers

February 15, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Relied upon to carry some scoring responsibility on offense and assigned the chore to defend Hancock's Jennifer Willison, Berkeley Springs' Emily McCoy was the real deal for the Indians on Monday night.

The 6-foot junior was efficient from beginning to end with 19 points and seven rebounds, while the 6-foot Willison labored in foul trouble and managed only six fourth-quarter points as the Indians rallied in the second half to pull out a 46-36 Apple Valley League victory.

"I just go out there every game and try to play my best," said McCoy. "(Willison) is one of the toughest players for me to play against. (Indians coach Dale McCumbee) told me we were going to front her up and I needed to keep my arms straight up, because they are long."

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McCoy had 10 of Berkeley Springs' 16 points in the first half as the Indians played havoc with their turnover count, heading to the break with 15 errors on a combination of sloppy ballhandling and traveling.

Her total was matched by Dana Beaver, who led Hancock (8-12, 2-6) to a 20-16 advantage at the half, despite Willison going scoreless and being saddled with three personal fouls.

"With Jen in foul trouble we were very fortunate to be in the lead at halftime," said Hancock coach Rocky Wills.

Once Berkeley Springs (10-9, 2-2) hit the scoring column four minutes into the third quarter on a bucket by Ashley Hovermale, it lit a fire for the Indians, who proceeded to close a 25-18 deficit on two baskets by McCoy and take a 27-25 lead on a 3-pointer by senior Heather Shaw with 13 seconds left.

With renewed confidence, the Indians raced to a 38-30 lead with 3:26 left to play on a goal by McCoy, who took a nifty pass from senior Laci Nine.

Up 41-30 with 2:44 left, Hancock made a run that included two baskets by Willison and one by Erin Smith, but the Indians were able to stave off Hancock with five points in the last minute.

"At halftime we told the girls they were playing too nervous in the first half," said McCumbee. "In the first half we simply didn't take care of the basketball. We told them to go out and do it."

The Indians tightened up all aspects of their game in the second half. They cut down their turnovers to eight, shot 44 percent from the floor and held Hancock to 21 percent shooting in the half.

"We had two tough losses along with two nice wins in the last week," said McCumbee. "This was a huge win for us, especially with the two tough losses."

Sarah Risinger, a 5-foot-5 sophomore guard, battled for nine rebounds and Shaw backed up McCoy with 12 points and eight rebounds.

"Risinger, what is she, 5-4, 5-5, and in there playing so tough," McCumbee said. "She really stepped up, Traci Bivens played good defense in the second half and Laci does so many things that aren't always in the scorebook."

Beaver, going scoreless in the last 11 minutes of the game, led Hancock with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Willison grabbed 10 rebounds and Amber Moats had eight.

"We had the open shots, but were weren't fluid at all on offense," Wills said. "We lose a little scoring past our starters. Beaver kept us in the game, but (Berkeley Springs) may have wanted this one more than us."

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