Leopards get it right defensively to take down Rebels

January 20, 2011|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent
  • Smithsburg's Alexis Andrukat leaps and saves the ball from going out of bounds during the Leopards' 56-22 win over South Hagerstown.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The Smithsburg girls basketball team let its defense erase any doubts there might have been about its performance on Thursday.

The Leopards turned up the pressure and turned away South Hagerstown for a 56-22 MVAL Antietam win.
Smithsburg led 29-18 at the half but held the Rebels to just four second-half points, including a 15-0 shutout in the third quarter.

“We really turned up the defensive intensity in the second half,” Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. “We just strived to be a little bit more aggressive in the passing lanes. We also wanted to box out and rebound the basketball. We got good transition baskets early in the second half.”

Senior Katie Sprecher led Smithsburg (10-1, 6-1) with a game-high total of 20 points, just two points less than South’s team. Sprecher added eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

“It seemed like when we came here to South during the previous couple of games, we got into a rut and we couldn’t score well,” Sprecher said. “But tonight, everybody was able to score. The whole team got into the offensive flow in the second half. We’re playing well right now. We have to keep it together and keep our intensity up offensively and defensively.”


Sprecher proved Smithsburg’s intent with her actions.

“I just think that Katie Sprecher was just aggressive, offensively,” Barnhart said. “She just did a nice job of finishing around the rim tonight. She’ll rebound, she’ll finish and she’ll make great passes. We’re just a much better team when she’s aggressive offensively. I think that if we come to play every night and keep working towards our team goals, then we will be very successful.”

Danielle Harbaugh, Taylor Belella and Sara Rishell added eight points apiece for Smithsburg. Alexis Andrukat finished with seven steals and five assists for the Leopards.

Harbaugh pulled down 11 rebounds, Belella dished out four assists and Rishell blocked three shots.

Freshman Katrice Dickson led South (2-8, 1-5) with eight points. Kendra Berkley grabbed nine rebounds and Alexis Small added six rebounds for the Rebels.

“We came out with a good effort,” South coach Amy Deeds said. “We worked our offense a good bit in the first half and we were able to score. We came out in the third quarter to Smithsburg’s defense being more intense and we were unable to score. It forced us to turn the ball over. We took poor shots. Our shot selection was minimal. But our girls played hard.”

JV — Smithsburg, 40-23 (Sm: Sam Gladhill, Kinsey Shifflett 12 points each; SH: Michelle Green 12 points).

Smithsburg 56, South Hagerstown 22
SMITHSBURG (10-1, 6-1)

Belella 4 0-0 8, Lee 2 1-2 5, Holl 0 0-2 0, Andrukat 0 3-4 3, Sprecher 9 1-4 20, Owens 1 2-2 4, Rishell 3 2-4 8, Harbaugh 3 2-4 8. Totals 22 11-22 56.
Helms 1 0-0 3, Johnson 0 2-4 2, Dickson 3 1-2 8, Freeman 1 0-0 2, Showe 0 1-2 1, Small 3 0-2 6. Totals 8 4-10 22.
Smithsburg    19    10    15    12    —    56
South             10    8    0    4    —    22

3-point goals—Smithsburg 1 (Sprecher). South Hagerstown 2 (Helms, Dickson).

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