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Leopards' high-pressured system storms by Rebels

January 19, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - South Hagerstown girls basketball coach Ray Singletary posted a high pressure warning before Thursday night's MVAL Antietam matchup against Smithsburg.

It was all a matter of if the Rebels could weather the storm.

It looked sunny for South early as it inched out to a 7-2 lead, but the winless Rebels got swept away in the final 26 minutes as Smithsburg's pressure took over, resulting in a 60-15 blowout.

South (0-9, 0-6) scored only eight points in the final 25:57, while turning the ball over 36 times.

"I told them before the game if we could take (Smithsburg's) pressure, we'd be OK," Singletary said. "And if we couldn't take it, we'd be in trouble. In the first couple of minutes, they weren't pressuring us. But once they did, we started rushing and turning it over."

The Rebels folded under Smithsburg's full-court press and had no better success when the Leopards switched to a half-court trap.

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"I tried to stop it early, but it never got to a point where we could break (the press) consistently," Singletary said.

Emily Hargreaves led the Leopards with eight steals, while Cara Jordan made three. Many of the turnovers were a result of either bad passes by South or traveling against the Smithsburg pressure.

"We pressured them and they had a hard time with it," said Smithsburg coach Eddie Hargreaves. "And we were fortunate that we were making our shots. We've been a little sluggish on offense this season, but we hit some shots tonight."

Smithsburg (2-10, 1-4) scored the last seven points of the opening period to take a 9-7 lead. The Leopards pulled away in the second quarter, hitting 7 of 15 shots and ending the half on an 11-0 run to take a 26-9 lead.

After the shaky start, Smithsburg shot 42 percent (21-for-50) over the final three quarters with 11 players scoring. Chelsea Hoover and Brittany Gamewell each had 10 points, while Allyn Saling scored nine with 10 rebounds. Hoover also had four assists.

Gamewell, a senior, scored all of her points in the fourth quarter while the Leopards were outscoring South, 23-2.

"(Gamewell) is somebody that hasn't had a lot of game time," Hargreaves said. "She did well underneath. Once (South's Brianna Hammond) fouled out of the game, it opened up the inside for her.

"It was a good night to get everybody involved. We don't have any one player that scores a lot on a regular basis. It's nice to have more than one person that scores."

Brittany Shadrach led the Rebels with four points, while Hammond added three. Both fouled out in the first 39 seconds of the fourth quarter.

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