Leopards put Hubs away at the line

January 06, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI |

HAGERSTOWN — The Smithsburg girls basketball team takes this friending thing seriously.

The Leopards’ familiarity made North Hagerstown look like strangers on Thursday.

Smithsburg used unselfish offense for easy baskets coming off assists — and a decided edge from the foul line — to bypass the Hubs for a decisive 60-48 victory in a key MVAL Antietam matchup.

“We got a lot of production from a lot of people,” said Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart. “We were able to find a lot of people open and played aggressively on offense.”

The Leopards (7-1, 4-1) used their patterned offense to their advantage as Katie Sprecher and Taylor Belella took opportunities to make the extra passes leading to easy baskets.

“We just play well as a team,” said Sprecher, who led all scorers with 19 points. “We can read each other well and know where to go. Five of us played on the volleyball team together, and we know what each of us can do.”

North (4-3, 4-1) stayed in the game early with aggressive defense at midcourt to shake the ball loose for breakaway baskets. The aggressiveness ended up being the Hubs’ downfall as they were whistled for 22 fouls compared to 11 on the Leopards.

Smithsburg pulled away, outscoring North 25-2 from the foul line.

“They beat us at the foul line,” said North coach Cindy Benjamin. “They took 32 shots and we only had five. We had some miscommunication on defense, but I’m proud of my girls because they played to the very end.”

The end came in one sudden burst by the Leopards.

North and Smithsburg stayed in close contact with each other in the first half, with the Leopards taking a 23-21 halftime lead.

They battled through three more ties in the first four minutes of the second half before Apryl Lee scored on a 10-footer to give Smithsburg a 31-29 lead and made Benjamin call a timeout with 3:43 remaining in the quarter.

Smithsburg beat North to the punch coming out of the timeout, going on a 9-2 run to end the quarter and a 12-5 flurry in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to establish a 52-36 lead.

“We knew in the second half we had to come out scoring and start making the extra passes,” Sprecher said.

It worked.

The Hubs hurt themselves down the stretch by putting Smithsburg at the foul line while trying to comeback. North turned up the pressure to get turnovers, but allowed the Leopards to score their last 10 points of the game from the foul line.

Lee followed Sprecher with 14 points while Sara Rishell finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and four assists out of the center position. Quielanna Gantt and Iman Scott led North with 11 points each.

JV: Smithsburg, 40-25 (S: Koterwas 13; NH: McLeod 11).

Smithsburg 60, North Hagerstown 48
SMITHSBURG (7-1, 3-1)

Belella 1 0-0 2, Lee 5 4-5 14, Andrukat 1 5-7 8, Sprecher 6 7-8 19, Owens 1 0-0 2, Rishell 2 8-10 12, Hanbaugh 1 1-2 3 Totals 17 25-32 60.
Anderson 4 0-1 8, Forrest 1 0-2 2, Fisher 6 0-0 12, Gantt 4 2-2 11, Koterwas 1 0-0 2, Carter 1 0-0 2, Scott 4 0-0 11 Totals 21 2-5 48.
Smithsburg    11    12    17    20    —    60
North Hagerstown    14    7    10    17    —    48

3-point goals — Smithsburg 1 (Andrukat), North Hagerstown 4 (Scott 3, Gantt). Fouled out — Anderson.

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