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Gantt spots Hubs lead to top Leopards

February 24, 2009|By JACK HILL III

SMITHSBURG - The North Hagerstown girls basketball team got it started early and kept rolling to defeat Smithsburg 71-55 on Monday night.

North Hagerstown (20-2) led Smithsburg (14-7) from the start, thanks to the spark provided by sophomore guard Quielanna Gantt, who scored the first nine points of the game.

Gantt started with a three-point play followed by three layups off steals and North led 9-2 after the first 3:24 of the game.

North held a 21-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter behind the 12 points and six steals by Gantt.

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"We were just ready to get a win tonight," Gantt said. "We came out and we played hard. I am proud of my team. We wanted to play aggressive. I was just trying to get some steals for my team. I was just trying to play the best defense that I can."

Gantt finished with game-high totals of 28 points - including five 3-pointers - with seven rebounds, seven steals and five assists.

"Quielanna Gantt was huge," North coach Barry Brown said. "She was the one that got us started. She set the tone both defensively and offensively."

The Hubs outscored the Leopards 13-4 in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second quarter to extend their lead to 34-12.

Kirksten Mitchell had 16 points, six rebounds and four steals for the Hubs, while LaRae Allen had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

"It was a great win for us," Brown said. "Smithsburg is a real fine team and extremely well-coached. Any time you win at Smithsburg, it's a big win. I was real pleased with our defensive effort. Offensively, I thought we made the extra pass pretty well today."

Katie Sprecher led Smithsburg with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Marissa Luipersbeck contributed eight points and four assists. Allie Nickels hauled in 11 rebounds, while Sara Rishell added six rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals for the Leopards.

"We showed a lot heart and effort, especially in the second half," Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. "Overall, I was pretty happy with the effort of my kids. We want to wish North good luck in the playoffs."

The Leopards closed to within 52-39 by the end of the third quarter, but Gantt and Kishia Jackson each hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter to balloon the Hubs' lead to 58-39 to put the game away.

North Hagerstown 71, Smithsburg 55
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (20-2)

Koterwas 6, Jackson 7, Gantt 28, Allen 14, Mitchell 16. Totals 23 16-22 71.
SMITHSBURG (14-7)
Belella 2, Hargeaves 3, Andrukat 2, Sprecher 23, Luipersbeck 8, Rishell 5, Nickels 6, Owens 6. Totals 21 9-13 55.
North Hagerstown 21 17 14 19 - 71
Smithsburg 8 12 19 16 - 55

3-point goals - North Hagerstown 9 (Jackson 2, Gantt 5, Mitchell 2). Smithsburg 4 (Hargreaves, Sprecher, Owens 2). JV: Smithsburg 32-22. (S: Danielle Beaver, 11). NH: Corie Anderson - 10 points)

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