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Patey's spark helps 'Cats jolt Leopards

February 25, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. - Jess Patey is a 5-foot-8 senior who doesn't normally dominate the headlines when it comes to Williamsport girls basketball.

She's one of those players who can be counted on by Williamsport coach Chris Malott to give 100 percent every time she steps on the floor.

Saturday night, Patey made sure her team got off to a good start as she energized the Wildcats early on the way to a 52-31 victory over Smithsburg in the Maryland Class 1A West East Sectional tourney opener.

Patey scored Williamsport's first six points. In fact, with four minutes gone in the first period, it was Patey 4, Smithsburg 2 before her teammates got into the act.

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"(Jess) was an early spark plug for us, getting off to a good start," said Malott. "She's the kind of the that gets the most out of herself. She works hard, gives the effort and is aggressive. She doesn't want the season to end."

After taking a 12-4 lead after the first period, Morgan Smith hit a bucket that gave the Wildcats their first double-digit advantage at 16-6.

Smithsburg (5-17) had a rough start with only one field goal while committing seven turnovers in the first quarter.

"The last time we were here we got off to the same kind of start," said Smithsburg coach Eddie Hargreaves. "We didn't shoot well and Williamsport's man defense was very good tonight."

Williamsport enhanced a 21-13 halftime lead with a 7-0 run - which included a basket and a 3-pointer by Leah Mellott - to move the Wildcats to a 35-20 lead after three quarters.

The Leopards offered an interesting challenge early in the fourth quarter by chopping the deficit to 12 points, but Williamsport used buckets by Lindsey Smith, Morgan Smith and Hannah Petro to bolt to an 18-point lead and salt the game away.

"I'm a little frustrated that we didn't convert on a lot of the open looks we had," said Malott. "And we had way too many turnovers (20). Defensively, we had a goal of holding them under 30, and would have if they didn't have that last 3."

Williamsport's defense induced 22 Smithsburg turnovers and the Wildcats were huge on the boards with a 36-20 advantage. Lindsey Smith pulled down 12 rebounds, while Patey had nine, including six offensive caroms.

"We were dominated on the boards," said Hargreaves. "We were a little undersized, but we played with energy."

Mellott and Patey each collected 10 points for Williamsport, which hits the road on Tuesday to meet Catoctin, a team the Wildcats will hope to avenge two regular-season defeats.

Nine players scored for Smithsburg with Cara Jordan and Emily Hargreaves each posting five points.

Williamsport hit 17 of 41 from the floor and Smithsburg was 10 of 36.

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