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Bywaters shows Leopards the way

January 21, 2006|By JACK HILL III

SMITHSBURG -

Senior Tara Bywaters stepped up with her leadership and offensive skills to lead Smithsburg's girls basketball team Friday night.

Bywaters made 10 of 11 free throws and scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Leopards to a 51-37 victory over the Clear Spring Blazers in the MVAL Antietam.

Bywaters, a four-year starter, said Smithsburg (8-4, 4-2) picked it up in the second half, which the Leopards opened with a 9-0 run for a 33-12 lead. Teonna Jewell converted a steal into a layup and Bywaters followed with seven straight points.

"I thought that we picked up the intensity and we got a lot of fast breaks off of turnovers," Bywaters said. "I stepped up to the foul line with a little more confidence than I used to. Every time I step up to the line, I have confidence that I am going to put it in.

"I think we're a really good team. I am going to try to lead the team to the state tournament to the best of my ability."

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Smithsburg has won four of its last five games, including each of its last four conference games.

"Tara picked us up offensively with the rest of our team struggling," Leopards coach Bill Fowkes said. "She showed good leadership for us tonight. In the third quarter, we came out and played with some pretty good intensity on the defensive end. We were able to finish our layups that resulted from our defensive pressure."

Jewell had seven steals, while Molly Powell added five steals and four assists for the Leopards. Kenzie Bowen had five rebounds in only four minutes of playing time due to a twisted ankle. Rebecca Gouff and Lindsey Vega made four steals each and Bywaters blocked two shots.

"We knew that Smithsburg revolved around Jewell and we held her back," Clear Spring coach Erin Wadel said. "But Bywaters stepped up and played a great game for them. We had a little trouble getting the ball (inbounds) on their press."

Carley Snyder scored 10 points, while Leigh Ann Bearden had seven rebounds and three blocks for Clear Spring (2-10, 1-5). Maggie Wolford added five assists and Jenn Hull grabbed six rebounds.

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