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Warriors left high, dry after drought

March 04, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

CUMBERLAND, Md. - Boonsboro hung tough with Southern Garrett through three periods despite a miserable shooting night before everything unraveled for the Warriors on Saturday night.

The Rams did a better job through the entire game and went on to eliminate the Warriors 57-43 in the Maryland 1A West final at Fort Hill.

Boonsboro (18-5) was 17 of 56 for 30 percent from the floor but could hit only once in 16 tries beyond the arc. In the critical final period, the Warriors went dead silent on 3 of 17 shooting and those connections came in the final 3:50 of the contest.

The Warriors helped the Southern cause by missing their first nine shots of the fourth quarter before Katie Neiman scored.

The roof began to cave in when Southern's Brittany Boyce hit a corner jumper following a turnover. The Rams then followed with six straight free throws on a questionable intentional foul call, followed by a technical foul on Boonsboro on its immediate possession.

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By then, it was 53-39 and Southern was making plans for next weekend.

"We're still in the game late in the third quarter but I thought we started to lose some of our composure," said Boonsboro coach Max Shaffer. "We got outhustled a little on the boards in the second half and (Southern) had an answer to everything we tried to do.

"We didn't move the ball effectively into the low post and even the other shots we were getting weren't easy."

Even so, Boonsboro stayed with the Rams, who never led by more than three points until the 1:50 mark of the third period. Southern's Sarah Stephens hit a baseline jumper to break a 37-37 tie for a lead the Rams would never relinquish.

Southern's Brittany Boyce scored for a 41-37 lead at the end of the quarter, and the Rams scored the only four points in the first three minutes of the final period for an eight-point lead.

"We're neck and neck and there's no answer to what suddenly happened," said senior guard Jerica Hewett. "Our offense just never got set. Maybe five times we got set and ran it."

Southern (19-3) hit 36 percent of their shots but also added 16 of 26 at the line compared to Boonsboro's 8 of 18. In the second half, Southern hit 15 of 22 from the stripe.

"Friday in practice we worked on fronting the post and then collapsing on it," said Southern coach Oren Yoder. "We did a good job of that and our man defense played well."

Hewett started fast with seven points in the first period but cooled off and ended with 13, hitting 6 of 15 from the floor.

Alex Baker found the range on only 4 of 20, including 1 of 12 behind the arc, and ended with 12 points.

Inside, Amy Rhoderick got off only seven shots, four on attempted putbacks. She mustered nine points and led the Warriors in rebounding with 13.

"It was so tough inside touches were hard to come by," said Rhoderick.

The Rams possessed balanced scoring with Boyce and Kerry Conroy scoring 13 apiece, Stephens 11 and Torie Bosley 10.

Southern Garrett moves on to the state semifinals on Friday against Surrattsville, an upset winner over Dunbar.

"If we all show up, I still think we're a batter team than Southern," said Hewett.

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