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Hot Warriors shoot first, question later

February 25, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

After rolling to the best regular-season record in the history of the program, one can't blame Boonsboro's girls basketball team for being pumped for the playoffs.

The Warriors (17-5) are the second seed in the Maryland Class 1A West East Sectional and host a familiar foe in Washington County rival Smithsburg (12-10) tonight at 7:30 in the sectional quarterfinals.

Boonsboro's offensive diversity has been too much for most teams to handle, including the Leopards in two losses this season - a 63-56 setback on Jan. 28 and a 65-43 drubbing just three days ago.

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The Warriors can make the long-range shot, with Jessie Ambrose (13.9 points per game) leading the way with 66 3-pointers this season. Boonsboro can also turn to Jerica Hewett (11.7) and Alex Baker (11.3) for offense - Hewett's size and quickness make her tough to guard when she drives to the basket, and Baker can score in transition or with open looks from the perimeter.

"It's the best shooting team I've ever had, what makes it difficult for a lot of teams to guard us," Warriors coach Bernie Semler said. "It's not a single-dimensional team, we have many dimensions. All my guards can shoot and Baker's not really a guard, she's a forward who I have to play at guard. It makes it difficult for people to match up with our shooters."

"I just think we're going to have to do much better on the offensive end," said Leopards coach Bill Fowkes. "We have to knock down open shots and contain their 3-point shooting. ... We shut (Ambrose) down the first time, but last time she was able to get herself open looks, and when she does she's able to put it in the bottom of the basket."

Fowkes chose not to share what defensive matchups he would use against Boonsboro. Teonna Jewell (11.2 points per game) will likely match up with either Ambrose or Hewett, but Smithsburg will miss Candace Stanford, out with a broken nose.

Boonsboro secured the second seed in the sectional by winning a coin flip against Poolesville, and as a result can enjoy home-cooking until the sectional final should the Warriors make it that far.

"The first good thing was we won the toss and got the second seed, which gave us home court for the first two games," Semler said. "That means a lot to us at this point."

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