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McCoy gets real to lift Indians to title

December 30, 2005|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - Berkeley Springs center Emily McCoy saved her best for last Thursday night.

In the fourth quarter, the 6-footer shook off what had been a relatively off night as she blocked three shots, grabbed six rebounds and scored the go-ahead points to lift Berkeley Springs past Southern Fulton 41-36 in the championship game of the Hancock Rotary Tournament.

McCoy finished with just five points, but none were bigger than the offensive putback that tied the game 36-36 with 2 minutes left and a pair of free throws with 1:23 remaining to give Berkeley Springs the lead for good.

"Considering I didn't do so well for the first three quarters, I felt like I needed to do something at the end," said McCoy, who finished with team highs of 12 rebounds and six blocks. "As long as we won the game, I was going to be happy."

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McCoy cemented her tournament MVP status with two blocks inside the final 2 minutes after Berkeley Springs (6-1) had erased an 11-point second-half deficit.

Southern Fulton (5-3) continued to drive the lane, but were met by McCoy and a slew of Berkeley Springs defenders.

"I think they were trying to go in and draw the foul on me because I know I had four late in the game," McCoy said. "I'm glad Coach left me in."

Southern Fulton guard Destane Whiteside, the Indians' primary ball handler, was benched with four fouls with 5:33 left in the game. Without Whiteside, who had a team-high 12 points, Southern Fulton was held without a basket. Whiteside returned with 1:35 left, but command had already shifted to Berkeley Springs.

"We were really concerned with her when we scouted her in last night's game," said Berkeley Springs coach Dale McCumbee. "With her out we were able to use our pressure defense a little better."

With Whiteside in the game, Southern Fulton flourished. The Indians opened the third quarter on a 15-4 run - with Whiteside leading the way with two steals, two assists and five points. Kristen Peterson benefited with eight of her 10 points during the stretch.

The second-half spurt led to a pair of Berkeley Springs timeouts with the Indians trailing, 29-20.

"We did nothing more than what we constantly preach to the girls: Just take care of the small things," McCumbee said.

Berkeley Springs came out of the second timeout and scored eight of the last 12 points of the third quarter to close the gap to five points. Berkeley Springs carried the momentum into the fourth quarter, in which it outscored Southern Fulton, 13-3.

"This is a huge win for us," McCumbee said. "To be down as much as we were and never give up is encouraging. That's the way we need to play."

Alex Tamez had nine points to lead the balanced attack of nine Berkely Springs scorers.

Natasha Bard added eight points for Southern Fulton.

n In the consolation game, Hancock held off a late charge by Clear Spring for a 48-47 victory. The Blazers scored four points in the final minute to pull to within one, but that's as close as they would get.

Kris Creek had 15 points, Jennifer Willison had 13 and Brandy Jenkins added 11 for Hancock (1-5).

Megan Blickenstaff had a game-high 19 points for Clear Spring (1-5).

ยท Named to the All-Tournament Team were Southern Fulton's Whiteside and Peters, Blickenstaff from Clear Spring, Willison from Hancock and McCoy and Ashley Hovermale from Berkeley Springs.

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