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Leopards trap Rebels into some Antietam payback

February 16, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg boys defense was strong as a fence Tuesday and South Hagerstown struggled to find the gate.

With a pressurized defense in the first half forcing the Rebels into a bevy of turnovers, Smithsburg constructed a 54-36 victory in MVAL Antietam Conference basketball.

At halftime, South (5-14, 5-7) had more turnovers (15) than points as the Leopards (11-9, 8-4) tightened the hinges on a 23-10 lead.

"We come out to play defense at the start of a game to shut teams down," said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber. "That's our gameplan going in."

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South led once - 2-0 on an Allen Daniels bucket 90 seconds into the game. Smithsburg didn't net its first goal until 4:30 was left on a jumper by Andrew Bohan for a 3-2 lead, and the Leopards never trailed.

South was guilty of nine turnovers in the second period on the way to a three-point period with Daniels hitting a 3-pointer, the Rebels' lone goal in nine attempts.

While Smithsburg didn't exactly set fire to the nets from the field, the Leopards did manage to convert four of the South miscues into eight points in the quarter as they were on their way to avenging a 43-37 loss to the Rebels on Jan. 20.

"We've struggled offensively and we did some tonight," said Gerber of Smithsburg's 20-for-49 effort.

Dominique Bryd hit six early points in the third quarter as the Rebels cut the deficit to 27-20 with 4:05 on the clock, before four more turnovers and five missed shots contributed to a 10-2 Smithsburg run, highlighted by Bohan's buzzer-beating missile from 3-point range for a 37-22 advantage at the break.

"That shot pretty much sealed the game," said Gerber. "The last three or four games, (Bohan) has shot pretty well."

Clay Marquiss, Smithsburg's 6-foot-10 tower, had 11 points despite being saddled with three personals in the first half and taking on a tough defensive performance by Daniels, 10 inches shorter.

"Daniels did a very good job on Clay," said Gerber. "We were impressed with his play."

Bohan added 10 points for the Leopards while Andrew Bentley fought his way to a team-leading eight rebounds.

Daniels had 10 points for the Rebels, who were 13 of 40 from the floor and ended with 23 turnovers. He also had five rebounds. Jordan Beard, who did not score, led South with eight rebounds as each team collected 30 boards.

"We're just not that good offensively," said South coach Dennis Seman. "In order for us to win a game we have to do it with defense. Our shot selection is not good because of not making good choices.

"Our guys work hard, they don't give up, but there are nights like tonight," he added. "We need to learn as a team. This program relied on superstars in the past. Now we have to keep teaching them."

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