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Leopards overshadow Beall in 4th quarter

February 03, 2006|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - The groundhog and the Smithsburg boys basketball team had similar days on Thursday.

Old Phil hid from his shadow while the Leopards figured out a way to get out from under the one cast by Beall.

Tyler King scored off an offensive rebound with 1:42 remaining to give Smithsburg the lead as the Leopards held on for a 37-35 victory.

Smithsburg (10-5) and Beall (12-4) battled to a 26-26 tie until the Leopards scored the first five points of the fourth quarter. Andrew Bohan scored off a steal and added a 3-pointer to give the Leopards a 31-26 lead with 5:29 remaining.

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The Mountaineers came back to tie it at 31-31 at the 3:52 mark as Adam Eshelman made 3 of 4 free throws and Matthew DeRosa got a basket.

King broke the 33-33 deadlock with his basket before point guard Andrew Bentley came through with a pair of free throws for a four-point lead with 32 seconds remaining.

The Mountaineers made a final run with Matthew DeRosa hitting a pair of foul shots with 23 seconds left before Tanner Nelson missed a 3-point shot at the buzzer in an attempt to steal the victory.

"We gave a real strong defensive effort," Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said. "The game was very similar to the one played up there at Beall when we lost 54-50 in overtime (last month). Our defensive intensity was the key to our victory. I thought that tonight was a good, solid team effort. If we can defend and rebound, then we have a chance to win."

Bentley finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots for Smithsburg.

"We played a lot more intense than the past couple of times out," Bentley said. "That helped us out a lot. We made some clutch foul shots tonight. We were also pretty accurate from beyond the arc. Our fans help us out a lot. They get everybody on our team fired up."

Bohan scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter, while Jon Reid and Jim Burgess grabbed five rebounds each for Smithsburg. DeRosa led Beall with 11 points.

"I expected them to slow down the tempo and they have got the guards and the ballhandlers to do that," Beall coach Robert Nelson said. "So, everything we had to get was in the halfcourt set. Perimeter shooting is our Achilles' heel."

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