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Warriors dismiss Leopards

February 27, 2005|BY TIM KOELBLE

BOONSBORO - After firing blanks on seven shots in the first quarter, many players would give up the ship.

Not Alex Baker. Don't tell her there's added pressure in the playoffs.

The 5-foot-9 sophomore kept plugging away and her efforts, as well as those of her teammates, were rewarded Saturday as Boonsboro beat Smithsburg 57-42 in the Maryland Class 1A West Region East Sectional girls basketball quarterfinals.

Boonsboro (18-5) will play host to the Poolesville-Tuscarora winner in the sectional semifinals on Tuesday.

Baker, third on the team with an 11.3 scoring average, doubled her pleasure with a 22-point game while Smithsburg put the clamps on leading scorer Jess Ambrose, held to one 3-point goal and five points, well below her 13.9 average.

"I just go out there to play and win," Baker said. "I was a little timid with the misses, but once I hit the first one, I had to keep on going."

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Sarah Keyser picked up the early slack with six points in the opening period as Boonsboro took an 11-3 lead over the Leopards. Smithsburg was plagued by nine turnovers in the opening eight minutes and were held scoreless until Molly Powell's 3-pointer with seconds left in the period.

Baker then got rolling with Boonsboro's next seven points in the second quarter and the Warriors, despite shooting 24 percent as a team in the opening half, held a 22-13 lead over Smithsburg, which was even colder at 20 percent.

Any hopes Smithsburg (12-11) had of catching Boonsboro were dashed as Baker scored 11 points in the third quarter and Jerica Hewett added six.

"We got out on rebounds and look to run and I think we did a good job of that today," Baker said. "We played our game once we got going."

Boonsboro coach Bernie Semler said he knew Smithsburg would make the effort to stop Ambrose.

"They did a good job doing that," he said. "But Alex stepped up and hit 3s and Jessica did a good job going to the hoop. And Keyser had great drives with her penetration."

Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes watched his team try to get untracked as the day went on, but the Leopards couldn't get back defensively to match the Boonsboro speed.

"We just didn't get back at all on defense, especially off the rebounds," Fowkes said. "It was like a jailbreak for (Boonsboro). I thought (Cara) Jordan did a good job on Ambrose, but they have so many weapons.

Hewett backed up Baker with 11 points. Baker, who hit 8 of 12 from the floor in the final three periods, and Amy Rhoderick each had seven rebounds and Keyser pulled down six for the Warriors.

Teonna Jewell scored 11 of her team-high 15 points in the second half and had seven rebounds for Smithsburg, which lost to their county rival for the third time this season.

"We've got matchups that are in our favor this year," Semler said. "Normally it has been the other way around."

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