Leopards have shot at Antietam title

January 29, 2009


Smithsburg vs. Williamsport -- the best rivalry in Washington County in recent years -- will be held Wednesday evening at Williamsport.

But the Leopards have a more immediate concern, as they travel to take on Catoctin on Saturday. The Cougars surprised everyone by thumping Williamsport, the defending MVAL Antietam champ, 51-24 last week to remain unbeaten in the conference while handing the Wildcats their first Antietam loss.

"I knew Catoctin was doing pretty well," Smithsburg coach Joe

Dietrich said. "But I didn't expect that."

For the Smithsburg-Williamsport match to have Antietam title implications for a fifth straight year, the Leopards, who also are undefeated in the conference, will have to beat Catoctin. If not, Wednesday's big county showdown will be for second place.

Against Williamsport, Smithsburg can only hope that history repeats itself as the teams seem to take turns winning every year. Williamsport won 40-29 last year, 42-35 in 2006 and 43-33 in 2004. Smithsburg won 42-33 in 2007 and 46-24 in 2005.


"You never know," Die-trich said. "It's who gets who and how the points fall down."

* Perhaps the No. 1 Waynesboro Indians (11-4) were just a little too happy to be there Tuesday when they competed in the PIAA District 3-AAA team championships for the first time since 1997.

Who can blame them?

It seems like only yesterday -- actually, it was the 2004-05 season -- that they went 0-18.

In first-round action Tuesday, the 12th-seeded Indians fell 48-9 to fifth-seeded Spring Grove (14-1).

"Just getting there is an accomplishment. We earned our way there," Waynesboro third-year coach Eric Mowen said. "We were in a lot of matches, but the kids just weren't ready. We didn't give our best effort, and they just wanted it more than we did. They won all the close matches.

"We're chalking it up as a learning experience."

Expect the Indians to be more than ready for the third annual Franklin County Tournament on Saturday at Mercersburg Academy. Chambersburg is the two-time defending champion, but Waynesboro clearly is the favorite.

"We should have a real nice chance at winning," said Mowen, whose team beat Chambersburg 53-14 last month. "After (Tuesday's) match, the kids say they can't wait to get to this weekend. We expect to do well."

Boys Basketball

Boonsboro has had a much more miserable season than some anticipated, with a 3-12 record.

However, the Warriors put some shining moments together Monday when they upset Mountain Ridge 48-42 on the Miners' court.

"It was a great win and showed you can play and win with a lot of effort," said Boonsboro coach John Taylor. "We went straight man, pressed and forced a lot of turnovers. And down the stretch we made free throws."

Shane Zbir had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead the effort.

"It was nice to win a close one," said Taylor. "Maybe we can be a headache and surprise some people down the stretch."

* South Hagerstown is on a three-game winning streak to get over .500 at 7-6 heading into tonight's game against Clear Spring.

"The main key is getting everyone on the same page," said South coach Kevin Naylor. "Everything doesn't happen in the scoring column. Good defense, rebounding, assists -- they're the things that matter."

South has battled internal problems and Naylor recently had a team meeting.

"I told them the selfish play is put in check or it will destroy us," said Naylor. "It's not about individual points, it's the 'W' that is impressive."

South has dropped sophomore Devonte Morel from the roster and he will be replaced beginning tonight with Richie Baymon, a former North Hagerstown athlete.

"He is eligible for Friday and he started working with us on Wednesday," said Naylor. "He's an athletic point guard and we'll slowly work him in."

By the numbers

North Hagerstown's Brent Bell keeps moving up the scoring ladder. He's averaged 24.4 points per game in five outings since the Christmas break and is now sixth in the Tri-State area at 16.9 per game.

* In the continuing free throw saga, Clear Spring was the latest team to feel the sting of a poor effort in its 80-77 overtime loss to North Hagerstown. The Blazers went just 11-for-27 from the line.

* Chambersburg (9-6) won four of its last five games entering Thursday's makeup game against Steel-High. Meanwhile, Greencastle-Antrim has dropped four straight entering Thursday's game against Shippensburg.

* After back-to-back losses to Fannett-Metal and Everett, Southern Fulton (10-5) has rolled off four straight wins.

* North Hagerstown (8-5), on a three-game winning streak going into tonight's game against Boonsboro, makes its first entry into the Super 7 this week in the No. 7 spot.

* With Musselman's loss to Washington last Friday, Martinsburg (11-2) moved back into the top position, with the Applemen (11-1) falling to second.

* With the weather problems earlier this week, most schools face a makeup problem.

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