Warriors call on wallcrawler

Hewett impersonates Spider-Man to lift Boonsboro

Hewett impersonates Spider-Man to lift Boonsboro

March 02, 2007|by BOB PARASILITI

There have been times this season when Jerica Hewett has done everything but climb walls for the Boonsboro girls basketball team.

She was called on to try that feat on Thursday.

In a game where her scoring came at a premium, Hewett was called on to change from point scorer to webslinger to pull the Warriors out of a hole and on to the top of the Maryland Class 1A West East Sectional with a heartstopping 48-45 win over Williamsport at North Hagerstown.

Boonsboro (18-4), which will play Southern Garrett on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Allegany High School for the West title and the right to head to the state tournament, was trailing 31-26 with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter when coach Max Shaffer yelled a cryptic instruction to Hewett.

"I told her that she had to be Spider-Man," Shaffer said. "You have to ask her what it means, but she knows that's when she has to take over the game."


After a feed to Amy Rhoderick for a basket in the paint to cut the deficit to three, Hewett caught Williamsport's defense spread out and started driving the lane.

The senior, who will play at Shepherd University next season, hit an eight-foot runner down the left side of the lane at the 3:55 mark, followed by a bank off a drive to the box on the right side 20 seconds later for four of her eight total points to give the Warriors a 32-31 lead.

"Spider-Man is to remind me a quote my dad keeps reminding me of," Hewett said. "It comes from the movie when they say, 'With great power comes great responsibility.'

"Coach told me to take over. We ran our '50' offense and spread the floor. My team looks up to me. I want to do whatever it takes to win."

On this day, it was running the show as Williamsport (14-11) worked to control the scoring of Hewett and Alex Baker. But in a game which was dominated by the Wildcats' Morgan Smith and her 34 points, the Warriors found a way to escape with the victory.

"Usually, it doesn't matter who does it, me or someone else. It just takes a couple of baskets to get us going," Hewett said. "We seem to wake up and say, 'What's going on,' and we get going."

Boonsboro looked elsewhere for scoring as Baker was held to 11 points. Rhoderick finished with 11 while Katie Neiman added seven for the Warriors.

The Warriors owned a 39-33 lead by the end of the third quarter, heading into a final period that was buried in turnovers, expired shot clocks and missed shots. After it all, the game came down to the final shot.

Boonsboro owned a 47-45 lead with 28.4 seconds after Whitney Sheppard hit 1 of 2 foul shots. Williamsport came downfloor and called time with 14.6 seconds remaining.

The Wildcats came out and ran a set play to tie the score. The inbounds pass found Lindsey Smith cutting down the lane for a layup, but the ball rolled off the rim with 3.4 seconds remaining.

"It was a good shot, but it just missed," said Williamsport coach Chris Malott. "That was the play we set up. We called time to set up the screens. It was just the wrong roll of the ball."

The bad roll put a damper on Morgan Smith's breakout game and a valiant early comeback by the Wildcats. Smith scored all but 11 of Williamsport's points and hit all five of the team's 3s.

"That was (Smith's) best game of the year," Malott said. "There were times today when she was giving the ball up too much. She was shooting so well, we wanted her to keep the ball. She hit five 3s today and that's not her forte. She is more of a slasher."

Williamsport fell behind 12-3 in the first quarter and only scored one basket in the first 8:09 of the game. The freshly shorn Malott, who had his head shaved by the team after it defeated Catoctin on Tuesday, tried to get the Wildcats to respond.

"I don't know what it is ... nerves?" Malott said. "It's hard to get down that far early and battle back all the time. But they battled back. To be able to battle back and have a chance to win, I'm proud of the girls. My hat's off to them. My hat's off to Boonsboro."

The Wildcats slowed the Warriors down to a halfcourt game and got back into the game, pulling to 20-19 at the half before taking a 24-20 lead with the first five points of the second half on a Morgan Smith 3 and Leah Mellott layup.

But then, Hewett went "Spider-Man."

"We were trying to contain Jerica and get her to the outside," Malott said. "We did a good job, but you can't do it every time. She just does good things when she gets loose."

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