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Leopards make run to elude Cougars

February 25, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

THURMONT, Md. — Never mind that Smithsburg’s boys basketball team beat Catoctin twice during the regular season by margins of 23 and 37 points.

It’s playoff time and anything can happen, especially in a third meeting of the minds.

And when it was in the minds of the Leopards, they found themselves in for a tussle on Friday night. They stepped up with a back-breaking 13-0 run on the way to a 63-53 victory over the Cougars in the Maryland Class 1A West East Sectional quarterfinals.

The Leopards (12-11) will play at Brunswick on Monday.

“We didn’t play bad, it was just (Catoctin’s) inside game made a difference for them,” said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber.

The Cougars (3-18) went inside to 6-foot-4 Sean Reaver, who had a career-high 25 points, making 11 of 12 field goal attempts. The distance of all 11 baskets combined wouldn’t have reached midcourt because of Catoctin’s effective low-post game.

Dylan Ianaro’s field goal at the end of the third quarter sliced Catoctin’s lead to 45-41 and began Smithsburg’s big charge.

Opening the fourth, Ianaro hit a 3-pointer, Robbie Hogue dropped in a goal, Aaron Dinterman and Brad Spickler each followed with two free throws and Dinterman capped it with a goal as the Leopards suddenly had a 52-45 lead with 4:30 remaining.

Ianaro’s 3-pointer was no surprise to Gerber.

“To start, we had the play called for (Ianaro) to take the shot,” said Gerber. “We had plenty of time, so he knew he didn’t have to take it if he wasn’t open.”

Catoctin clawed back within 53-49 behind Reaver, but Dinterman and Cullan Ganley hit goals to squelch the Cougars’ momentum for a 57-49 lead at the 1:50 mark.

Smithsburg got strong efforts in the second quarter from Jordan Fortson and Dylan Eyler. Fortson scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half and Eyler scored seven points in the second quarter.

“The bench played well,” said Gerber. “Eyler gave us spark and (Ryne) Willard played some great defense. We finished the game well tonight.”

Dinterman led Smithsburg with 17 points and added seven rebounds. Ianaro posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and also had four assists.

Smithsburg 63, Catoctin 53
SMITHSBURG (12-11)

Ganley 4-9 1-2 9, Fortson 6-13 0-0 14, Dinterman 4-11 9-10 17, Ianaro 4-10 1-2 10, Gibson 0-0 0-1 0, Spickler 0-1 2-2 2, Hogue 1-3 2-2 4, Eyler 2-4 3-4 7, Willard 0-1 0-0 0, Hardy 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-53 18-23 63.
CATOCTIN (3-18)
K. Maxey 0-1 2-5 2, Laramore 3-11 1-2 9, Ridenour 0-3 0-0 0, Routzahn 3-6 0-0 7, Reaver 11-12 3-4 25, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, N. Maxey 2-4 0-0 6, Vardiner 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 21-41 6-11 53.
Smithsburg    13    15    13    22    —    63
Catoctin    15    12    18    8    —    53

3-point goals—Smithsburg 3 (Fortson 2, Ianaro), Catoctin 5 (Routzahn, N. Maxey 2, Laramore 2).

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