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Leopards make their free throws count

January 28, 2006|By JACK HILL III

SMITHSBURG -

The Smithsburg Leopards enjoyed going to the free throw line Friday night.

The Leopards made 18 of 20 attempts from the charity stripe, allowing them to come from behind for a 50-44 win over the North Hagerstown Hubs in an MVAL Antietam girls basketball game.

The win kept Smithsburg (10-4, 6-2) in third place in the conference behind Catoctin and Boonsboro.

"We seem to have a tendency to get down early and then fight back," Leopards coach Bill Fowkes said. "It is not the way that we want to do it, but that seems to be the pattern. Our team did an outstanding job of shooting free throws tonight. Laura Sudec definitely stepped up in the fourth quarter and just hit clutch free throw after clutch free throw."

Sudec, a senior center, went 8-for-8 from the line, six coming in the fourth quarter when she played most of the period with four fouls.

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"I just tried to keep my head on straight and not commit any unnecessary fouls," Sudec said. "I thought that if I could stay out of foul trouble, then I could do what I needed to do. The foul shots at the end of the game definitely gave us the lead that we needed to have. We work a lot on foul shots in practice. Both of our coaches just looked at me and said, 'Knock them down.' I just stayed calm and remembered my shot."

Teonna Jewell, Tara Bywaters, Cara Jordan and Sudec finished with 10 points each for Smithsburg. Bywaters grabbed nine rebounds, while Sudec had six. Jordan added four steals and four assists.

North (8-6, 4-3) led 18-12 with 4:19 remaining in the second quarter before Smithsburg scored the final eight points of the quarter to take a 20-18 halftime lead. Jewell had six of those eight points.

Smithsburg led North 42-40 with 2 minutes left in the game, and outscored the Hubs 8-4 down the stretch - with Sudec scoring all eight points - to seal the win.

Shawayna Morel scored 22 points and Kirksten Mitchell added 10 points for North. Both Morel and Mitchell added eight rebounds and four steals, while Larae Allen had eight rebounds.

"I thought our girls put forth a great effort," Hubs coach Barry Brown said. "I thought it was a great ballgame. I think Smithsburg played a great game. They played hard and they did a lot of little things to win the game. It was anybody's ballgame. That was two teams really battling tonight."

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