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Gaels inclined to top Fort Hill

Leopards win

December 28, 2007|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG ? St. Maria Goretti and Smithsburg scored victories on Thursday to advance to today's championship game of the Pap Draper Classic.

The defending tournament champion Gaels pulled out a 38-35 victory over Fort Hill, while the Leopards beat James Buchanan, 48-22.

Fort Hill (1-4) will play James Buchanan (1-8) at 6 p.m. in the consolation game, followed by Goretti (6-3) and Smithsburg (3-3) in the championship game.

The Sentinels tied the score at 35-35 with 42 seconds remaining on a 3-point goal by Lindsey Fisher, who had a team-high 11 points. But the Gaels quickly responded when junior point guard Angie Nevarez score a game-winning three-point play with 15 seconds later to supply the final magin of victory.

"That was a great drive by Angie Nevarez," St. Maria Goretti coach Todd Rideout said. "She drove the lane for a layup and then made a foul shot for the three-point play. That right there sealed it for us."

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Center Sarah Spierenburg collected game-high totals of 14 rebounds, 13 points and seven blocked shots for Goretti.

Carissa Grove added eight points and seven rebounds, while Nevarez got five of her seven points in the fourth quarter for the Gaels.

"Making foul shots and layups down the stretch won the game for us," Rideout said.

"We got some steals in the second half and that led to some scoring. Our defense was good. Sarah Spierenburg just did a tremendous job on defense on the inside. Fort Hill played hard and really moved the ball. We had too many missed layups in the first half and that hurt us."

ยท The Leopards took control early against the Rockets. Smithsburg raced to a 7-0 lead, before James Buchanan reduced the deficit to 10-5. Marissa Luipersbeck hit a buzzer-beater to end the first quarter to stretch the Leopards' lead to 12-5.

Shannon Delaney opened the second quarter with a basket and sophomore Emily Hargreaves added two baskets to increase Smithsburg's advantage to 18-5. The Leopards' lead grew to 25-10 by halftime.

Hargreaves scored eight points during the third quarter as she had all 15 of her points by the end of the period when Smithsburg had a commanding 39-14 lead.

Freshman center Sara Rishell got eight rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots for the Leopards. Gretchen Downey grabbed seven rebounds, Hargreaves made four steals and Ashley Ferguson blocked three shots for Smithsburg.

Anna Angle led the Rockets with nine rebounds and eight points.

"We knew they were going to zone us," Smithsburg coach Ed Hargreaves said. "So, we worked against the zone in practice all week long. We just tried to be more patient on offense and get some open looks."

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