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No question - Hubs answer the call

February 19, 2005|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - By the time North Hagerstown's girls basketball team was finished, not only was the Smithsburg offense disrupted, it was virtually eliminated. The Hubs shut down the outside shooting of Tara Bywaters and Teonna Jewell and rode the inside scoring of Chelsea Clark to a 57-36 MVAL Antietam victory over the No. 9 Leopards Friday night. Limiting Smithsburg to just two fourth-quarter points sealed the deal for the Hubs, who hit 7 of 12 from the floor in the final eight minutes. "(North) played a phenomenal game tonight," said Leopards coach Bill Fowkes. "We tried a lot of different defenses, and we just didn't have any answers." Perhaps the underlying problem was North (10-10, 8-5) simply posed too many questions for the Leopards. The first question: How do we stop Cara Thompson? She scored all 11 of her points in the first period to open an 18-8 Hubs lead. By the time that dilemma was solved, the Leopards were faced with a force inside, as Clark scored 16 second-half points for North. "Earlier in the season, everything we did was (inside)," said Hubs coach Barry Brown. "We had to teach them to take the first good shot, and we're becoming a more well-rounded team." For Smithsburg (11-9, 7-6), Candace Stanford's 14 first-half points helped the Leopards avoid early elimination. Still, the Leopards managed to stay within striking distance at 41-34 entering the fourth period, behind Bywaters' seven third-period points on a 3-pointer and four free throws. But a 16-2 North run over the final eight minutes closed the deal. The Hubs missed just one free throw all evening, draining 12 of 13 from the stripe. Smithsburg hit just 14 of 63 shots from the floor (22 percent).

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