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Leopards' defense blows down Gaels

December 06, 2011|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG — Alexis Andrukat scored a game-high 17 points to back Smithsburg’s stout team defense Tuesday night to lead the Leopards to a 57-38 season-opening win over St. Maria Goretti.

Andrukat — one of Smithsburg’s eight seniors — took the reins as team leader by fighting for loose balls, taking tough shots in the paint and playing lockdown defense, which is Smithsburg’s mantra this season.

“I wanted to set a good example,” Andrukat said. “We wanted to focus on defense and I think we all did a really great job.”

The Leopards’ defense began to take hold near the end of the first quarter. After giving up 12 points in the first period, Smithsburg (1-0) only allowed 11 in the next two periods.

“We wanted to take the pressure off the offense with a lot of defensive pressure,” Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. “It starts with the defensive intensity, then the offense will come.”

The offense came along right as the defensive pressure showed up for Smithsburg.

It took the Leopards nearly four minutes to score their first field goal, but once that first shot went through, it was Smithsburg’s game. The Leopards scored 33 points in the second and third quarters to give them a commanding 46-26 lead entering into the final eight minutes.

“It was a little bit of nerves and a little bit of rust,” Barnhart said. “But once they relaxed, we began to execute.”

Elisa Owens added 15 points for Smithsburg and Danielle Harbaugh scored 11 while Krystal Holl was working the glass, leading the team with seven rebounds.

“We were lackadaisical all over,” Goretti coach Todd Rideout said. “Too many turnovers, we were slow on defense. Smithsburg was ready to play.

“(Andrukat) controlled the game and got open shots,” Rideout said.

Ama Mitchual led Goretti (4-4) with 12 points while Tajaia Tillman scored eight for the Gaels.

Smithsburg 57, Goretti 38
SMITHSBURG (1-0)
Andrukat 6 4-6 17, Owens 3 7-9 15, Harbaugh 3 5-7 11, Holl 2 1-3 5, Lee 1 2-2 3, Bachtell 0 2-2 2, Hargreaves 0 2-2 2, Koterwas 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 23-31 57.
GORETTI (4-4)
Mitchual 3 5-10 12, Tillman 4 0-0 8, Narkute 2 1-2 5, Lorensen 2 0-0 4, Murray 2 0-2 4, Eich 1 1-5 3, Cronise 1 0-3 2. Totals 15 7-22 38.
Smithsburg     13    20    13    11    —    57
Goretti    12    4    7    15    —     38
3-point goals — Smithsburg 3 (Owens 2, Andrukat). Goretti 1 (Mitchual).

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