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Mitchell, Hubs handle Wildcats

January 30, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

WILLIAMSPORT -- The North Hagerstown girls basketball team seemed to have its hands in everything Tuesday.

And Kirksten Mitchell left the biggest fingerprints.

The Hubs' quick hands totally disrupted Williamsport's offense, allowing Mitchell to unload a quiet 24 points as North laid a 59-43 pasting on the Wildcats.

No. 3 North (13-2) played actively on defense -- especially in the first half -- to keep the Wildcats out of their flow. The Hubs contested shots, stole passes, slapped away Williamsport dribbles and tied up the Wildcats' moves to the basket. The only downfall was the extra activity also caused numerous fouls.

"Defensively, our team concept is one ball vs. five players," said North coach Barry Brown. "We created a lot of opportunities with quick hands, but we got into trouble, too. We didn't adjust to the way the game was being called and got ourselves into foul trouble. We put them at the line way too much."

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The foul line was the only thing that prevented the game from being a total lost cause for Williamsport in the first half.

The Wildcats managed only three baskets -- all by Morgan Smith -- while turning the ball over 17 times in the first 16 minutes. Smith scored the first basket of the game and Williamsport didn't score another hoop until the 1:38 mark of the second quarter, a span of 13 1/2 minutes.

But Williamsport (7-8) stayed afloat by hitting 15 of 16 foul shots in the first half to trail only 31-22 at the intermission.

"North is a team of athletes," Williamsport coach Chris Malott said. "You can't play as many inconsistent minutes against them like we did. Still, I told them at the half that we were only nine behind and couldn't have played any worse. Kirksten Mitchell is just a stud."

Mitchell, who is transforming from a forward to a point guard, hit all four of her 3-pointers in the first half, including three in the first quarter, to give the Hubs a working margin.

Alex Silva played as a secondary point guard and slashed to the middle to finish with 12 points to give North a change of pace.

In the process, North took Smith out off the game for Williamsport. The senior finished with 19 points, but needed to hit all 10 of her foul shots to get there.

"(Shuntia) Hamilton and (Kishia) Jackson did a great job against Morgan," Brown said. "She's going to get her points, but you don't want her to get way more than her share. Our pressure forced a lot of bad passes."

Williamsport stay within eight until midway through the third quarter. The Hubs unloaded a 10-0 run, led by two Silva hoops, to expand the lead to 48-30 and all but end the game.

Mitchell finished with four assists while LaRae Allen had six rebounds and seven steals for North. Silva added seven rebounds and eight steals as Williamsport finished with 20 turnovers and hit only 11 of 32 shots.

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