Leopards show stuff in victory

December 30, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

SMITHSBURG -- There was no official tournament most valuable player announced Tuesday after the conclusion of Pap Draper Classic.

If the honor had been given, the choice would have been an obvious one.

Smithsburg junior Katie Sprecher poured in a career-high 28 points to go with six rebounds as the Leopards defended their home court with a dominant 61-40 victory against Joppatowne to repeat as Draper champions.

Sprecher hit on 11 of 15 shots and finished with 47 points in the two-day tournament.

"It's great to win at home and in our own tournament," said Sprecher, who was one of four Leopards named to the all-tournament team. "We wanted to win it for Pap Draper."

Smithsburg trailed 8-7 after the first quarter, thanks to a 3-for-14 shooting performance. But the Leopards regrouped and re-established their game plan, one that was designed to perfection.


Smithsburg (6-1) went to its half-court, high-low game and hit 7 of 11 shots in the second quarter, outscoring the Mariners 19-9 to take control.

It didn't end there, though, as Smithsburg remained aggressive and efficient. The Leopards drained 13 of 21 shots in the second half as the lead grew to as many as 26 points.

"We didn't want to go up and down the court with (Joppatowne) because they're very quick and athletic," said Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart. "We wanted to stick with the half-court game and set some things up and that's why the offense worked tonight."

Six-foot-2 junior Sara Rishell played a big part in that design as she dished out eight assists -- all finished by Sprecher -- hauled in 16 rebounds and blocked five shots.

"We work together a lot in practice so it's always an option in the game," Sprecher said. "The defenses they were playing allowed us to move the ball and get some open looks."

Sixteen of Smithsburg's 23 baskets were assisted, helping the Leopards shoot 50 percent from the field.

In contrast, Joppatowne had only three assists on its 15 buckets and shot just 25 percent from the field.

"It was what I wanted, but not necessarily what I expected," Barnhart said.

Taylor Belella, Elisa Owens and Alex Nickels each chipped in with eight points for Smithsburg.

Zameira Jones and Brittany Thorton each had 13 points to lead the Mariners. Thorton also had 12 rebounds.

Tuscarora topped St. Maria Goretti 49-32 in the consolation game.

n All tournament team: Smithsburg -- Sprecher, Rishell, Belella, Alexis Andrukat; Joppatowne -- Thorton, Jones, Shakara Head; Tuscarora -- Brianna Lee, Rachel Wiley; St. Maria Goretti -- Maggie Garvey.

Smithsburg 61, Joppatowne 40

Patton-Hill 0 0-2 0, Z. Jones 6 0-1 13, Head 1 4-6 6, Lewis-Orr 1 0-2 2, Thorton 5 2-3 13, Scott 2 0-0 6. Totals 15 6-12 40.
Belella 3 2-2 8, Gardenhour 1 0-2 3, Andrukat 1 0-0 2, Sprecher 11 6-8 28, Owens 3 2-3 8, Rishell 2 0-0 4, Harbaugh 0 0-1 0, Nickels 2 4-7 8.
Joppatowne 8 9 8 15 -- 40
Smithsburg 7 19 21 14 -- 61

3-point goals -- Joppatowne 3 (Thorton, Scott 2); Smithsburg 1 (Gardenhour). Fouled out -- Patton-Hill, Andrukat.

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