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Catoctin's girls clip Boonsboro

February 04, 2006|By CURT HORNBECKER

BOONSBORO -

With 3 minutes left in the game, the Boonsboro girls basketball team seemed to have matters well in hand.

That's just about the time things started falling apart for the Warriors.

By losing its grip on the game, No. 3 Boonsboro also lost its grip on an opportunity to forge a first-place tie in the MVAL Antietam, as Catoctin rallied for a 58-55 victory on Friday night.

The loss sinks the Warriors (14-2, 7-2) two games behind the conference-leading Cougars (11-2, 9-0).

"I don't want to settle for second (place in the conference)," said Boonsboro coach Max Shaffer, "but if nobody else helps us, we only have one more shot at (the Cougars). After that, we're playing for (playoff) seeding."

The Warriors had several opportunities to keep the Cougars at bay, but failed to hit the critical shot or make the critical play.

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"They almost gave me a heart attack," said Catoctin coach Amy Murray of her team's comeback. "It all came down to heart. Boonsboro is one of the toughest teams in the conference, and this is not an easy place to play. We could have folded when we were down in the fourth quarter, but we played with heart."

After the Warriors' leading scorer, Alex Baker, drained a 3-pointer with three minutes left for a 55-50 lead, things began spiraling out of control for Boonsboro.

Catoctin (11-2, 9-0) scored eight unanswered points, Amy Rhoderick - the Warriors' primary force in the paint - fouled out with 1:56 left, and Boonsboro committed two turnovers and missed two shots inside 10 feet.

"I thought we lost our composure at the end," said Shaffer. "We just went brain dead. As much as we play, that surprised me. But it all came down to composure. It was a big game."

After picking up her fourth foul with 6:14 left, Rhoderick hit a pair of layups to spark a 6-2 run for a seven-point Warriors lead, but Catoctin finished the game with a 16-6 run, with Hanna Dubois pouring in six of her 15 points in the spurt.

"This was a big game," said Dubois. "We were just focused on playing as well as possible. We came together as a team in the second half and played good team defense."

Monie Cuddahee got the Cougars off to a quick start with six first-period points, leading Catoctin to an 18-7 lead after the first eight minutes.

But the Warriors caught fire in the second quarter, reeling off 15 straight points while limiting the Cougars to a mere four points in the period.

Behind Sarah Keyser, Boonsboro's lead stretched to 11 with 2:50 remaining in the third. But five points from Dubois and four from Kate Robinson pulled Catoctin within four entering the final eight minutes.

Defensively, Catoctin held Baker, the area's third-leading scorer averaging 16.9 points per game, to 12 points.

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