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Indians take advantage of Spartans' generosity

January 31, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER/Staff Correspondent

WARFORDSBURG, Pa. -- Painted on the wall inside the Southern Fulton gymnasium is the greeting, "Welcome to Indians Country."

Thursday night, it was No Country for Spartans.

No. 7 Southern Fulton hauled in 24 offensive rebounds and forced McConnellsburg into 26 turnovers to sweep the season series with a 44-25 Sideling Hill League victory.

"We wanted to pound the boards," said Indians coach Mark Mellott. "We don't have a ton of size, but I learned a long time ago that you don't have to have size to win. You just have to go after every ball and fight for the rebound."

The combination of 16 offensive rebounds and 18 forced turnovers in the first half allowed the Indians (14-6, 9-4) to take a 23-10 halftime lead. In turn, McConnellsburg attempted only nine shots in the first 16 minutes, connecting on two.

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"That's the story right there. They just physically moved us underneath," said Spartans coach David Garland. "If we would have kept them off the boards, we would have been right there in the second half. We just allowed too many offensive rebounds."

Southern Fulton held a 35-21 overall edge on the glass with Natasha Bard leading the way with 10 rebounds -- seven offensive. Freshman Lacey Beatty, who had 10 points to lead the Indians to a 40-19 junior varsity win, posted a team-high 12 points in a reserve role to pace the varsity squad.

"She's done that a couple times this year," Mellott said. "She came in off the bench and gave us a quick boost."

Beatty scored all 10 of her first-half points in a span of only 2 minutes, 16 seconds, beginning with a 17-foot jumper from the right baseline with 1:22 left in the first quarter. She hit the next three Southern Fulton baskets -- two from beyond the arc -- to fuel a 16-0 run that gave the Indians a 16-3 lead with 5:38 left in the first half.

Brooke Whiteside and Kristen Petersen each had seven points, while Chelsey Hollenshead had six points, six rebounds and six steals to help pace Southern Fulton.

The Indians have clinched a postseason berth and are currently third in the District 5 standings.

"One of our goals is to continue to get better," Mellott said. "We want to improve going into the playoffs."

While McConnellsburg (9-12, 5-9) improved in the second half, surrendering less than half as many offensive rebounds and turnovers, the deficit was far too much to overcome and it never dropped below double digits. The Spartans gave up 15 turnovers on steals.

"(Southern Fulton) didn't get much off their press," Garland said. "It was in the half court that they disrupted us."

Courtney McClure led the Spartans with seven points, six rebounds and three blocked shots, while Casey Pollack added six points.

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