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Wildcats take luck out of play

February 14, 2009|By JACK HILL III

WILLIAMSPORT -- Friday the 13th ended up being good luck for the Williamsport girls basketball team.

It was bad luck for Smithsburg.

The Wildcats pulled out a 55-53 upset win over the Leopards in an MVAL Antietam game.

"I told the seniors before the game, 'This will be the last time that you will ever play Smithsburg on your home floor, so let's go out there and win,'" Williamsport coach Chris Malott said. "That's what we did. That was a 10-second speech."

Kayla Ewing had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Courtney Shaw scored 13 points for Williamsport (7-10, 4-4). Brittany Malott grabbed eight rebounds and Kelly Beard added six rebounds for the Wildcats.

"We played hard and we played well for four quarters," Malott said. "Kayla Ewing was the difference-maker tonight. With each game, she is getting better and better. She is only a sophomore and she has got a bright future ahead of her. We hit just enough free throws to win the game."

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Marissa Luipersbeck led Smithsburg (13-6, 7-2) with 15 points, while Katie Sprecher added 14 points and six rebounds. Emily Hargreaves got 11 points, Sara Rishell pulled down seven rebounds and Allie Nickels grabbed six rebounds for the Leopards.

"Williamsport played very hard," Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. "They rebounded the ball very well. We were in foul trouble, but that doesn't take anything away from them. They played very well at the end. Williamsport deserves this one."

The Wildcats held a 44-35 advantage with 6:08 remaining.

But the Leopards chopped the lead to 52-51 with 46 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Hargreaves.

Ewing converted one of her two foul shots with 17 seconds left to move Williamsport to a 53-51 lead. After a Smithsburg miss, Beard hit two free throws with eight seconds remaining to raise Williamsport's lead to 55-51.

Sprecher scored off of an offensive rebound with one second to go to bring Smithsburg within two at the end.

Smithsburg went 20-for-54 from the floor, including 3-for-11 from 3-point range.

"We played man-to-man defense the whole night," Malott said. "We keyed on Katie Sprecher. After she scored 10 points in the first quarter, we held her to four points for the last three quarters."

Smithsburg led 16-10 at the end of the first quarter. But Williamsport came back to tie the score at 22-22 just seven seconds before halftime on a basket by Brittany Malott.

Smithsburg never led again, but tied the score twice early in the third quarter.

Williamsport 55, Smithsburg 53
SMITHSBURG (13-6, 7-2)

Belella 2, Gardenhour 3, Hargreaves 11, Sprecher 14, Luipersbeck 15, Rishell 4, Nickels 2, Owens 2. Totals 20 10-13 53.WILLIAMSPORT (7-10, 4-4)
Beard 7, Petro 8, Cole 1, Shaw 13, Willingham 4, Ewing 17, Malott 5. Totals 20 15-34 55.
Smithsburg 16 6 11 20 -- 53
Williamsport 10 12 15 18 -- 55

3-point goals -- Smithsburg 3 (Gardenhour, Hargreaves 2). JV: Smithsburg 39-34 (Smithsburg: Danielle Beaver 17 points; Williamsport: Casey Arnone -- 11 points).

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