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Leopards pull away from ' Cats

January 10, 2009|By JACK HILL III

SMITHSBURG -- It took time, but the Smithsburg girls basketball team got it done.

The Leopards took their time but eventually pulled away from Williamsport on Friday for a 43-24 MVAL Antietam win.

"We played pretty good defense," Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. "We just tried to play a solid 2-3 zone and limit them to one shot."

Scoring was at a premium early in the game as the score stood at 4-4 through the first 6 1/2 minutes. Smithsburg (9-1, 4-1) scored the final seven points for an 11-4 lead it held for the duration. Junior guard Emily Hargreaves scored seven of her 10 points in the first quarter for the Leopards.

Williamsport (3-6, 0-2) stayed within striking distance, trailing 12-6 with five minutes remaining in the half, until point guard Marissa Luipersbeck hit a pair of baskets to move Smithsburg's lead to 10. After that, Williamsport never got closer than nine points for the rest of the game.

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"My two baskets really boosted up our intensity and it started more offensive options," Luipersbeck said. "When we started to increase the lead, our team was feeling more confidence."

Luipersbeck, the only senior in the Leopards' starting five, got Smithsburg started with three assists.

"We are doing well and we work together," Luipersbeck added. "We have good team chemistry. My guards get open very well, so it is easy to start the offense. We had our lapses, but overall the offense worked pretty well. Our defense was better tonight and we really pressured them."

Katie Sprecher collected 11 points, six rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots for the Leopards, while Sara Rishell got team-high totals of nine blocked shots and eight rebounds to go with three assists.

"If we can stay focused and do the things that we need to do, then we can contend with most teams," Barnhart said. "As our young players are getting more experience, we are gaining more confidence."

Courtney Shaw led Williamsport with eight points, while Kayla Ewing grabbed nine rebounds and Hannah Petro had six rebounds.

"We are not going to win too many games on 7-for-58 shooting," Williamsport coach Chris Malott said.

Smithsburg 43, Williamsport 24
WILLIAMSPORT (3-6, 0-2)

Beard 7, Petro 1, Cole 5, Shaw 8, Ewing 2, Malott 1. Totals 7 9-20 24.
SMITHSBURG (9-1, 4-1)
Belella 3, Hargreaves 10, Andrukat 2, Sprecher 11, Luipersbeck 6, Ferguson 2, Rishell 4, Nickels 5. Totals 16 9-14 43.
Williamsport 4 3 5 12 -- 24
Smithsburg 11 6 17 9 -- 43

3-point goals -- Williamsport 1 (Beard), Smithsburg 2 (Hargreaves 2). Fouled out -- Malott, Nickels. JV -- Smithsburg, 39-16 (S: Elisa Owens 12 points).

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