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'Cats turned over by Rebels

December 20, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — Williamsport girls basketball coach Chris Malott gave his Wildcats a simple formula for success prior to Tuesday night’s MVAL Antietam contest at South Hagerstown.

“At practice last night, I told them, ‘They have athletes, but if we keep our turnovers under 30, we have a chance,’” Malott said. “‘If it’s over 30, we’re in trouble.’”

Williamsport’s final turnover total was 42, and Malott proved correct as the Rebels’ athleticism wore down the Wildcats for a 53-37 victory.

“In my opinion, Malott is the best girls basketball coach in the county,” Rebels coach Nate Naylor said. “If you let them get into their halfcourt offense, they’ll kill you. So we wanted to put ball pressure on early.”

The Wildcats (2-3, 1-2) trailed 42-27 early in the fourth quarter before using a 10-0 run to get within five with 5:32 left. Victoria Key started the run with the last of her four 3-pointers to wrap up her 12-point night, Casey Arnone made two baskets for four of her 11 points, and Hannah Kastelein had all three of her points in the run.

But the Rebels (4-2, 2-1) finished the game on an 11-0 run from that point on. Tayana Stewart scored six of her game-high 21 points down the stretch.

“I told our girls (Malott’s) team is going to be ready to make a run,” Naylor said. “We hoped they would use all their legs, and then we’d make our run.”

Key hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter to help Williamsport take a 12-8 lead after one period.

But the Wildcats had a miserable second quarter, making just 2 of 8 shots and turning the ball over 12 times as South outscored Williamsport 12-5 in the period to take a 20-17 lead into halftime. Katrice Dickson had five of her 14 points in the quarter and Stewart added four points.

An 8-0 run midway through the third quarter gave the Rebels a 32-21 lead, and Stewart — who had nine points in the period — capped the quarter with a 28-foot 3-pointer right before the buzzer for a 41-27 lead. Malott argued that Stewart stepped out of bounds before the shot and was hit with a technical foul.

Chelsea Scott finished with nine points, eight steals and seven rebounds for South. Alexis Small had nine points and six rebounds, Stewart had four steals and Dejiah Johnson added four assists. The Rebels made 11 of 33 field goal attempts and 12 of 22 foul shots, and committed 21 turnovers.

“We know we’re not shooting the ball well right now,” Naylor said. “We’re not deep, but we pride ourselves on being in better shape, so we’re going to raise the tempo and try to force turnovers.”

Williamsport made 13 of 39 field goal attempts and 7 of 10 foul shots, and won the rebounding battle, 36-31 — but the 42 turnovers were decisive.

“We’ll show (game) film now and in February, and we’ll be better,” Malott said. “We won’t turn it over as much. Our problems are fixable.”

JV: Williamsport, 45-18 (W: Emily Fitzgerald 16; SH: Nancy King 9).

South Hagerstown 53, Williamsport 37
WILLIAMSPORT (2-3, 1-2)
Key 12, Malott 4, Arnone 11, Christy 2, Younker 5, Kastelein 3. Totals 13 7-10 37.
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (4-2, 2-1)
Small 9, Stewart 21, Scott 9, Dickson 14. Totals 20 12-22 53.
Williamsport    12    5    10    10    —    37
S. Hagerstown    8    12    21    12    —    53
3-point goals — Williamsport 4 (Key 4), South 1 (Stewart). Technical — Williamsport bench.

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