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Fill-ins get their fill for Applemen

December 14, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

INWOOD, W.Va. - Three Musselman girls basketball starters began the game on the bench because of injuries Wednesday night against St. James.

But three starters are easily replaceable for a Musselman squad that boasts 14 players - 13 of which saw action - as the Applemen rolled past the Saints 73-29 in Apple Valley League action.

Lacey Williams, Whitney Mathias and Taylar Moore were replaced by Kayla Johns, Melissa Hebenthal and Morgan Harms in the starting lineup, but all received significant playing time.

"We kept three of our five regular starters out of the starting lineup to give them a chance to rest up a little bit," said Musselman coach Mike Marsh. "We've been trying to find other girls to play some different roles to see who can step up."

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As a starter, Harms led the Applemen with 12 points, while Johns added six and Hebenthal grabbed five rebounds. Off the bench, Mathias scored nine, Williams had eight and Moore chipped in with six - all in the second quarter when the Applemen outscored the Saints, 25-6.

The two other Musselman starters - Erica Manor and Nikki Stephenson - each scored 10 points as 11 different players scored at least two points. The Applemen (2-2, 2-1) led 41-14 at halftime and used the second half to try out different defensive schemes.

"We used the whole second half as a chance to work on different sets," Marsh said. "And We found some kids that work well in it."

Meanwhile St. James (0-6, 0-2), which carries only seven players on its roster, attempted to disregard the scoreboard and try to focus on its own preset goals.

"At this point we know we're not up to playing at the level as a team like (Musselman)," Saints coach Billy Crawford said. "I tell them just to throw a blanket over the scoreboard and play the game. We want to work on different things to make us a better team down the road."

St. James fell into a 10-0 hole in the early minutes of the game, before getting baskets from Kali Worth, Caroline Salisbury and Heather Lowery to pull the score to 12-6. But six points was as close as the Saints would get as Musselman gradually pulled away.

Lowery led the Saints with 11 points and nine rebounds despite picking up her fourth foul before halftime. She sat out all but three minutes of the second half, during which she scored five points.

"She's got to play a little smarter in situations like that," Crawford said. "She doesn't necessarily have to lay back, but the aggressiveness has to change."

Worth added six points and Leila Chouai had three assists for the Saints.

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