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Boonsboro girls dodge upset bid

February 01, 2006|By CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - The Boonsboro girls basketball team now has a chance to slide back into first place in the MVAL Antietam on Friday.

The No. 3 Warriors may have started looking forward to its showdown with conference-leading Catoctin prematurely as they received a scare by sixth-place Williamsport, but survived for a 51-42 win Tuesday night.

"I don't know if we were looking ahead to Friday's game or not, but we didn't play like we usually play," said Warriors coach Max Shaffer Jr. "They came out and played hard and we didn't."

Still, Boonsboro (15-1, 7-1) led by as much as 10 late in the third quarter before Williamsport twice cut the deficit to one in the fourth. The Wildcats (4-10, 2-6) used a 6-0 spurt to pull the gap to 39-38 with 4:49 remaining and, after an offensive putback by Boonsboro's Amy Rhoderick, Morgan Smith made a steal and layup in transition to make it 41-40.

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An airball by the usually sharp-shooting Alex Baker gave the Wildcats the ball with a chance to take its first lead since 7-4. Williamsport's 21st turnover of the game spoiled the opportunity and Boonsboro scored 10 of the final 12 points to survive.

"I can't fault our effort," said Williamsport coach Chris Malott. "We came out in the second half and gave them a run. We wanted to prove that we aren't as bad as our record shows and I think we did that tonight."

Rallies by the Wildcats were stalled until the second half, thanks to 16 turnovers in the first half, including nine in the first quarter. Williamsport found multiple ways to give the ball back to the Warriors, from errant passes and traveling calls to shot-clock violations.

"If they force the turnover, it's one thing, but when we're giving it them is when it really hurts," Malott said.

After halftime, Williamsport cut its turnovers in half, shedding light for a second-half rally and a possible upset. Helping matters for the Wildcats was an increasing number of turnovers by Boonsboro, which went from just one in the first quarter to six in the second. The Warriors gave it up 10 times in the second half.

"We start getting nonchalant with the ball when we get a good lead," Shaffer said. "It also didn't help that we quit moving without the ball."

Morgan and Lindsey Smith provided the inside scoring for the Wildcats in the second half, while Leah Mellott gave them relief on the outside. The Smiths each scored 10 points after halftime, while Mellott added eight - including 3-pointers to open and close the third quarter.

"When she gets her feet set, she can hit that shot," Malott said. "She hit them tonight when we needed them."

Boonsboro's top scorers, Jerica Hewett and Baker, were saddled with foul trouble in the second half and were forced to the bench for nearly three minutes as Williamsport mounted its comeback. The duo returned with 5:44 left and played a vital part in holding off the Wildcats. Baker, still bothered by a sore foot, hit a pair of free throws and Hewett was involved in three forced turnovers down the stretch.

Baker finished with 12 points, while Hewett added 11. Rhoderick finished with a team-high 13.

Lindsey Smith played through a migraine and led the Wildcats with 13 points. Morgan Smith had 12 and Mellott added 11.

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