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Warriors, Leopards set for title clash

December 29, 2005|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Even Pap Draper couldn't change the misfortunes for St. Maria Goretti and Fort Hill.

The Gaels fell to Smithsburg 41-25 on Dec. 12 and fell again to the Leopards 58-23 in the first round of the Pap Draper Classic on Wednesday night. Boonsboro beat the Sentinels 40-30 on Dec. 23 and followed suit with a 55-44 win in the tournament's opening game.

Smithsburg (4-0) will host the Warriors (5-0) in the championship game tonight at 8, while Goretti (6-4) will take on Fort Hill (4-2) in the consolation game at 6.

Like the first meeting, Smithsburg controlled the Gaels with its defense to force a flurry of turnovers and fast-break opportunities. Senior Tara Bywaters anchored the swarming defense with seven steals, while junior Cara Jordan had six.

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"We're a really aggressive team and we use our quickness to our advantage. We're always quick to pick up the next defender," said Bywaters, who also finished with game highs of 16 points and eight rebounds in less than three quarters of action.

The Gaels finished with 34 turnovers - up from 30 in the previous meeting. No help to Goretti's tunover troubles was a trio of field-goal droughts, spanning a total of 19 minutes, 34 seconds. The Gaels were outscored 20-0 during a 10-minute drought in the second half.

"It was just like the first game. We couldn't handle their pressure," said Gaels coach Todd Rideout. "Every time we got set, they had someone on us."

The Leopards struggled with turnovers in the first game as well with 25, but on Wednesday cut that number to 13.

"We've worked very hard on our passing and trying to cut out the turnovers," said Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes. "We've definitely improved from the last time we saw them."

Jordan and Teonna Jewell had five assists each. Jordan also chipped in with eight points.

Sarah Spirenburg led Goretti with nine points, along with four blocked shots.

Boonsboro notched the season sweep of Fort Hill, powered by a 33-12 advantage over the second and third quarters. Alex Baker led the Warriors with 28 points, while Jerica Hewett added 13.

Lindsay Holliday had 20 points and Natalie Athey had nine for the Sentinels.

The championship game tonight features a pair of unbeaten MVAL Antietam teams in Boonsboro and Smithsburg. It is the first of at least three games between the Washington County foes.

"It's going to be a great matchup," said Fowkes. "They have two really good scorers that we'll have to contain with our defense. It's going to be tough."

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