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Indians overpower Blazers, Panthers

December 29, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER

HANCOCK - Going by the results of the opening round of the Hancock "Shoot the Lights Out" Holiday Tournament, the matchups for the consolation and championship games tonight should be relatively even.

Southern Fulton opened the tournament Friday night with a 63-22 thumping of Clear Spring and Berkeley Springs followed with an equally dominant 54-16 win against Hancock.

Southern Fulton and Berkeley Springs will face off in the championship game tonight, which follows the third-place game at 6.

Natasha Bard led Southern Fulton with 12 points, while Brooke Whiteside and Chelsea Hollenshead each had 11 to lead Southern Fulton. Ten different players scored for the Indians, one of whom was not starting center Kristen Peterson.

"(Peterson) has been battling an injury and the girls picked up the slack tonight, said Southern Fulton coach Mark Mellott. "We have a lot of girls that can score. And our bench shot the ball well, too."

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Southern Fulton got 24 points from its reserves, who began to trickle in during the second half. The Indians (5-2) scored the first 11 points of the game and ended the first half on a 22-0 run for a 42-10 lead.

The Indians grabbed 28 offensive boards and held a 49-26 rebounding advantage overall. Clear Spring turned the ball over 36 times and attempted 37 fewer field goals (78-41).

Hollenshead had nine rebounds, while Bard had nine to go with six steals.

"The two biggest points were their offensive rebounding and their transition game," said Clear Spring first-year coach Greg Henry. "In games this year we've struggled against pressure. We're just not confident with the ball against it, but I think we're getting better."

Andrea Baum led the Blazers (1-4) with 12 points.

Southern Fulton will be looking for its 11th title in 14 years tonight, but to do so it must unseat two-time defending champion Berkeley Springs, which opened the second quarter with a 16-0 run, took a 34-9 lead at halftime and coasted to its sixth straight win.

"We're 6-1, but we've been pretty inconsistent," said Berkeley Springs coach Dale McCumbee. "We've played some quarters really slow. With some of the competition we're going to see, we're going to have to be more consistent, so I was glad to see us come out strong early."

Berkeley Springs also had 10 players score, with 2006 tournament MVP Amber Booher leading the way with 14. Sophomore forward Jess Haynes added nine points and junior point guard Alex Tamez had six points, five assists and five steals.

Each saw limited action in the second half due to substitution. Tamez set the tone with a pair of dimes in the opening minute - one to Booher and one to Kelsey McCoy, who finished with seven points.

"(Tamez) has a huge role on this team. She's our floor general, our floor leader," McCumbee said. "We like for her to get into a groove running the offense."

The Panthers (2-5) went 1-for-23 spanning the second and third quarters and suffered through a 12-minute scoring drought. Shawnda Wills was the high scorer with just four points.

"They weren't prepared to play," said Hancock coach Rocky Wills. "As coaches, I think we had them ready for what to expect, but I don't think they were prepared mentally."

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