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Hargreaves rides wave, lifts Leopards

February 11, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

SMITHSBURG - The basket looked like the Atlantic Ocean for Smithsburg junior Emily Hargreaves on Tuesday night.

That was bad news for Catoctin - Hargreaves is not a player who has trouble throwing the ball in the ocean.

With a silky smooth stroke, Hargreaves pumped in a game-high 19 points - nine of them in the Leopards' early 13-0 run - and Smithsburg went on to defeat the Cougars 63-49 in an MVAL Antietam contest.

"We always try to jump out and get the lead early, that makes it easier for us and takes the pressure off us," Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. "Emily shot fantastic. She's a very good shooter and she needed that tonight. She needed to come out and realize she can shoot the ball very, very well, and when she does that, we play very well if she shoots like that."

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After Emily Delauter made two free throws to give Catoctin (5-13, 3-5) a 2-0 lead, baskets by Katie Sprecher and Marissa Luipersbeck and two foul shots by Hargreaves gave Smithsburg (13-5, 7-1) a 6-2 lead. The foul shots served as a spark for Hargreaves, who finished the 13-0 run with two jumpers and the first of her three 3-pointers.

"Getting foul shots early in games really helps me get my form down and helps me relax," Hargreaves said. "We look low for the high-low first, and when we don't get that, we look to kick out and I'm ready for it when it comes."

Smithsburg entered halftime with a 32-22 lead and opened it up to 51-32 by the end of the third quarter. The Leopards shared the ball well and made 8 of 16 shots in the quarter while holding the Cougars to 4 of 14 shooting and outrebounding them, 13-4.

"The third quarter has been our quarter this year. We try to come out and correct little things we did wrong in the first half," Barnhart said. "Our press is getting better ... and overall, if we rebound and play defense, the rest falls in place for us."

Catoctin mounted one last charge in the fourth, using a 13-2 run over the first 4:25 to cut the lead to 53-45.

Sprecher and Luipersbeck each made two free throws, and Luipersbeck found Sprecher down low for a basket that capped a 6-0 Leopards run and gave them a 59-45 lead with 2:17 left. Luipersbeck and Hargreaves each made two more free throws in the closing minutes to ice the game.

"We were just trying to break the press, keep ball in our hands, make foul shots and not succumb to their pressure," said Luipersbeck, who finished with 14 points and six assists. "(Coach) told us to stay calm, work on the press, getting it upcourt, holding it and making our foul shots."

"Marissa is a great leader and a great point guard for us," Barnhart said. "She handles the ball very well. She handles it all the time and it gets tiring for her, but she is fantastic and she was great again tonight."

Sprecher - who was under the weather - had 11 points and six rebounds for the Leopards. Sara Rishell had 12 rebounds and four blocks, Allie Nickels had eight points and 10 rebounds, and Hargreaves added eight rebounds.

Kylie Late led Catoctin with 11 points.

Smithsburg 63, Catoctin 49
CATOCTIN (5-13, 3-5)

Delauter 2, Lambert 3, Woelfel 8, Metheny 7, Dewees 6, Keilholtz 8, Despeaux 2, Late 11, Sweeney 2. Totals 15 17-24 49.
SMITHSBURG (13-5, 7-1)
Sprecher 11, Luipersbeck 14, Hargreaves 19, Nickels 8, Ferguson 7, Rishell 4. Totals 20 17-22 63.
Catoctin 11 11 10 17 - 49
Smithsburg 17 15 19 12 - 63

3-point goals - Catoctin 2 (Lambert, Late), Smithsburg 3 (Hargreaves 3). JV - Smithsburg, 49-46 (S: Danielle Harbaugh 21).

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