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Leopards suffocate Warriors

February 23, 2005|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Boonsboro simply had nowhere to go.

With Smithsburg's defense shutting down its perimeter attack, and 6-foot-10 Clay Marquiss clogging the middle, the Warriors were unable to get anything going offensively, and fell to the Leopards, 60-46 in an MVAL Antietam contest Tuesday night.

"We're a peri-meter team and (Smithsburg) really extended the floor on us defensively," said Boonsboro coach Sam Connelly. "Their defense took away everything we were trying to do."

But it wasn't until late in the second period that Smithsburg (12-10, 9-5) found enough offense to establish a comfortable lead. Guard Chris Brown came off the bench to drain 4 of 5 field goal attempts - including a trio of 3-pointers - to highlight a 12-0 run and give the Leopards a 27-13 advantage.

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Six straight points from Marquiss, who finished with 14 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots, extended the Smithsburg lead to 35-17, and a 9-2 run to end the third quarter pushed the margin to 21 entering the final eight minutes.

But Boonsboro (5-17, 4-10) wasn't done. Trailing 50-26 with seven minutes remaining, the Warriors reeled off 15 of the next 21 points - sparked by 10 Mike DeBarge points - to cut the margin to 10 with 72 seconds left.

"Give credit to Boonsboro," said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber. "They continued to play hard, they knocked down some shots and knocked down some free throws, and made it a little more uncomfortable down the stretch than we'd like."

While Marquiss was an important factor on the offensive end, his presence was more prominent on defense.

"He has about six inches on almost everybody we play and that's especially big on the defensive end," Gerber said. "When teams try to penetrate, we know he's back there to block the shots."

And Marquiss was certainly a factor in the Warriors' 10-for-44 (23 percent) shooting effort.

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