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Smith gets 8 the hard way

January 12, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

WILLIAMSPORT - Family, friends and fans expected an early celebration for Williamsport senior Morgan Smith when she scored the seven points she needed to reach the 1,000-point of her career.

Fast forward those videotape machines. No one expected that plateau to still be in question late in the fourth quarter.

It didn't happen until Smith was fouled on a spin move along the baseline. She hit the first of the foul shots with 2:04 remaining for the milestone as Williamsport struggled to a 40-20 MVAL Antietam girls basketball victory on Friday.

Williamsport immediately called a time out to present Smith with the game ball and offered congratulations. The salutations not only came from her teammates, but also from the Smithsburg players.

"That was a classy move by (Smithsburg)," said Williamsport coach Chris Malott.

Smith knocked down the second shot for her eighth point, her total for the night.

"I'm glad I finally got there," said Smith. "Now, I can relax and play. It was a struggle. I was nervous. I worked hard for every point."

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Even while Smith was scoreless, the Wildcats did their job to compensate.

"My teammates picked me up," she said. "They came through for me."

Smith was saddled with three first-half personal fouls and received her fourth at the 6:51 mark of the third period to keep her scoreless and on the bench until the final 6:45.

Her only goal came with 3:01 left to give Williamsport a 20-point cushion (36-16). She was 6-of-6 from the line.

"We didn't come here with the idea of denying (Smith) her seven points," said Smithsburg coach Eddie Hargreaves. "We worked on a triangle defense and I thought (Gretchen) Downey did a good job of frustrating Smith."

Williamsport (5-6, 2-2) didn't score a field goal in the first period, but led 6-2 as both teams began a night filled with turnovers and poor shooting.

The Wildcats shot 19 percent (9 of 46) with 20 turnovers, while Smithsburg managed 16 percent (5 of 33) with 29 turnovers. At the line, Williamsport hit 20 of 30 shots and the Leopards were 10 of 16.

"You can shoot 10 percent and not throw the ball in the ocean, but we played defense," said Malott. "(Smithsburg) did a phenomenal job with the triangle defense. We had to scrape tonight."

With only three field goals to its credit - two scored by Jessica Ellis - Williamsport led 12-9 at the half.

Smithsburg scored five points in the third period, all by Emily Hargreaves, but a streak of seven turnovers helped the Wildcats build a 28-11 lead after Hannah Petro hit consecutive 3-pointers.

Petro led Williamsport with 11 points.

Then, it all came down to waiting for Smith to make her curtain call.

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