Follow the pouncing ball

Cavs use closing run to land knockout punch on Smithsburg girls

Cavs use closing run to land knockout punch on Smithsburg girls

January 21, 2009|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG -- South Carroll's girls' basketball team was like a caged animal.

It pounced when it felt threatened.

Ironically,  the Leopards of Smithsburg were the victims.

After watching third-ranked Smithsburg claw its way back to tie the game midway through the third period, South Carroll went on a 24-7 run in the final 11 minutes for a 55-38 victory in a lackluster effort for the Leopards.

"We came off a long weekend -- we weren't able to practice (Monday) -- and (South Carroll) took it to us," said Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart. "I don't think we were necessarily ready for that."

Kaitlin Matthias scored all 10 of her points in the Cavaliers' run and Melissa Heim added eight as South Carroll forced nine Leopards turnovers and converted five of eight free throws down the stretch.


"We've been trying to learn to put games away," said South Carroll coach Liz Padgett. "We knew this was going to be a fight, but give the kids credit for showing up and playing hard for four quarters."

After Sara Rishell, Smithsburg's primary shot-blocking and rebounding threat, collected her second foul just 93 seconds into the game, South Carroll (8-5) jumped out to an eight-point, first-quarter lead.

"We were lucky to get (Rishell) out of the game early," said Padgett. "We knew Smithsburg was tough and physical inside and the only way for us to beat them is to beat them inside."

But Smithsburg (9-3) rallied behind Katie Sprecher and closed the gap to 23-22 before falling behind 27-22 at the half.

"We need to adjust to that (Rishell's absence)," said Barnhart. "We need to have somebody step up."

Allie Nickels took up some of that slack with a 10-point, 15-rebound performance, but 26 turnovers and 28 percent shooting (13 of 47) kept the Leopards from holding a lead after the 6:05 mark of the first period.

"I think (the girls) get in their mind what they're going to do with the ball before they get down court," said Barnhart. "We need to learn to take what the defense gives us."

South Carroll 55, Smithsburg 38

Scurci 12, Quiamboa 8, Slifer 2, Maring 2, Matthias 10, Louder 5, Heim 16, Totals 21 11-14 55.
Belella 2, Hargreaves 4, Andruka 2, Sprecher 15, Luipersbeck 3, Rishell 2, Nickels 10, Totals 13 12-15 38.
South Carroll 14 13 14 14 -- 55
Smithsburg 12 10 12 3 -- 38

3-point goals -- South Carroll 2 (Scurci 2). JV -- South Carroll, 42-38 (SC: Erin Quinn 15; S: Elisa Owens 23).

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