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Bach composes Panthers' win

December 09, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Getting the ball to Caitlin Bach in the paint was like money in the bank for the North Carroll girls basketball team Friday night.

Lucky for the Panthers, the bank was open late.

North Carroll began looking inside to Bach in the fourth quarter as the Panthers' center scored nine of her 14 points in the final eight minutes on a variety of post moves to spur the Panthers to a 35-25 victory over Smithsburg.

"We're a little undersized at the post, and they took advantage of it," said Leopards coach Eddie Hargreaves. "I expected them to go into the post often against us with their size advantage."

Bach sank a layup and a short hook within the first 37 seconds of the fourth period to overcome the Leopards' two-point edge at the end of the third quarter. Those two buckets propelled the Panthers to a 14-2 run, and sank Smithsburg to 0-2 on the season.

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"We were having a hard time putting the ball in the bucket," said Hargreaves. "We're really young - we lost all five starters from last season - and we're struggling to find scoring."

That was true throughout the game, as the Leopards hit just 11 of 52 field-goal attempts, scored just 10 second-half points and relied on their tenacious defense to keep them in the game until late.

Trailing by seven midway through the second period, Smithsburg's Emily Hargreaves scored five straight points to lead the Leopards on an 8-0 spree to end the half with a 15-14 edge.

Smithsburg managed to push the margin to three with 3:37 left in the third, but settled for a 23-21 advantage entering the fourth quarter.

Hargreaves and Gretchen Downey each finished with five points to lead the Leopards.

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