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Warriors eliminate rival Leopards

February 25, 2006|By TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO -

Jerica Hewett's face was beet red following Friday's Maryland Class 1A West East sectional opener.

She had just scored eight of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter - each of them instrumental in Boonsboro's 40-36 victory over Smithsburg.

"We knew this would be another tough game," Hewett said after the teams locked horns for the fourth time this season. "By now, everyone knows each others' strengths and weaknesses."

Hewett said she has been feeling below par lately. She broke out in hives on Thursday and was playing Friday under medication.

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"Once I got out there, I really didn't think about it," said Hewett, who had only three points in the first half.

She wasn't alone under the weather. Some of her teammates, as well as some Smithsburg players, have been battling winter bugs, too.

Despite an anemic one-point second quarter that turned an 11-6 lead into a 16-12 deficit at halftime, Smithsburg (16-7) rallied to take a 32-30 lead with six minutes remaining in the game.

Hewett took charge for Boonsboro (20-3). She took a pass in transition from Sarah Keyser for a deuce and a 32-32 tie with 5:15 left. On a backdoor cut and shot, she was fouled and hit both for a 34-32 lead, one Boonsboro never relinquished.

At the 2:50 mark, Hewett drove the lane in traffic and scored for a 36-32 lead. After two free throws from Smithsburg's Tara Bywaters, Hewett scored again, this time with 6 seconds left on the shot clock, and a putback by Alex Baker gave the Warriors a 40-34 lead with 21 seconds to go.

Boonsboro failed to take advantage of nine first-period Smithsburg turnovers and the Leopards' awful second quarter by hitting only 4 of 23 from the floor themselves.

"The game boiled down to a one-point second quarter," said Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes. "We just couldn't finish off our shots. Defensively, we did everything I thought we had to do."

The Warriors held Smithsburg's Teonna Jewell to 10 points, something Boonsboro coach Max Shaffer said the Warriors had to do.

"Alex did a very good job on Jewell and we wanted someone other than her to beat us if they did," said Shaffer. "And this was also one of our better games rebounding this year."

The Warriors held a 35-31 edge on the boards, with Amy Rhoderick grabbing 11. Keyser finished with 13 points.

Laura Sudec led Smithsburg with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Bywaters added 11 points.

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