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Bulldogs upset Cougars

February 03, 2007|by JOHN O'BRIEN/Staff Correspondent

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - After finally grabbing a comfortable fourth-quarter lead against visiting Jefferson Friday night, the Martinsburg girls basketball team wanted to play stall-ball, hit its free throws and come out with a win.

Two out of three isn't bad.

Iesha Robinson scored 22 points, Dakeea Marshall added 16 and the Bulldogs held on for a 47-39 win over the No. 5 Cougars despite a 7-of-21 shooting performance from the foul line in the fourth quarter.

Martinsburg, which shot 43 percent from the floor, made only 9 of 29 free throws (31 percent) overall.

"It was atrocious," Martinsburg coach Beth Sedlar said. "When you shoot whatever we shot - negative-13 percent or whatever we ended up with - those are just freebies. For us to shoot like that ... we have to do better."

Marshall and Robinson combined to hit just 6 of 15 fourth-quarter attempts, while ShaRonda McDowell and Jamie Hill each missed a pair. Shaniece Nunn hit 1 of 2.

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Fortunately for Martinsburg, anyone not named Katie Danno was having trouble making a shot for Jefferson. Danno led her team with 21 points and 13 rebounds and shot 9 of 15 from the floor. The rest of her team went 8 for 34.

And having 18 turnovers in the final three quarters - after not turning it over once in the first - didn't help either. Jefferson coach Peachie Diehl said her team was having trouble making routine entry passes.

"It was a physical game underneath," she said.

No team had a lead larger than four until the Bulldogs' deciding surge, which began with Robinson's jumper that tied the game at 28-28 with 3:01 left in the third quarter.

Marshall hit a free throw, Robinson added a 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining that made it 32-28 and the Bulldogs (7-9) scored the first six points of the fourth. Nunn's free throw with 5:55 left made it 38-28.

At that point, Sedlar instructed the Bulldogs to stall on offense, and Jefferson only got as close as eight the rest of the way.

A double-digit fourth-quarter would have been an unlikely sight to Sedlar, based on her opinion of her team's first-half performance. Jefferson (11-7) led 21-20 at the break.

"The first half was just ugly," she said. "We weren't good defensively or offensively. We looked slow and didn't show our quickness.

"We weren't dictating the game at all. We need to dictate what we do to teams, not what they do to us."

Marshall added a game-high 17 rebounds, six offensive. She and Robinson combined to take 28 of the Bulldogs' 42 shots.

Aissa Diehl added eight for the Cougars on 4-of-13 shooting. Each team had only five players who scored.

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