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Leopards start fast, top Blazers

January 06, 2012|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING — The top priority for Smithsburg’s girls basketball team on Friday night was to start better against Clear Spring than it did Tuesday night, when the Leopards fell behind 22-10 after the first quarter of a 72-66 loss to South Hagerstown.

Mission accomplished. Smithsburg opened Friday’s game with a 10-0 run over the first 4:09 and led the Blazers 19-7 after the first quarter to set the tone for a 46-26 victory in the MVAL Antietam.

“We played pretty good defense tonight,” Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. “Clear Spring played really hard. Our goal is to improve every game, and tonight our defense definitely improved. We worked hard in practice on maintaining defensive intensity and rebounding the basketball. We did a good job.”

Senior Elisa Owens scored a game-high 18 points for Smithsburg (5-2, 4-1), including five in the Leopards’ opening run. Owens has scored 125 points in seven games — 17.9 per game.

“We played really good defense and we worked the ball around pretty good,” Owens said.

“We did pretty good as a team and everyone contributed tonight. That’s the way we wanted to start off the game. We wanted to make our shots and get ahead. My teammates did a really good job of finding me open and I just tried to knock them down.”

Owens finished the first quarter with 10 points.

“It’s all because of the defense,” Owens said. “Getting the rebounds on defense and getting the ball back on offense really made a difference. I’m really excited about our potential. We have a lot of good players. I am really looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Center Danielle Harbaugh added 10 points and 13 rebounds  for Smithsburg. It was her third straight game with double-digit rebounds.

Point guard Alexis Andrukat added seven assists and four steals, while April Lee had three steals for the Leopards.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Barnhart said. “But I like the direction that we are going in. We have got to get better every night.”

The Leopards’ defense held the Blazers to one point in the third quarter to expand their lead to 35-15.

Alexa Mills had 12 points and six rebounds, while Jessica Barnhart added eight points for Clear Spring (2-6, 0-5). Sam Staley pulled down nine rebounds and Becca Dunning grabbed eight rebounds.

JV: Clear Spring, 39-30 (CS: Kristen Mellott 11; S: Madison Bachtell 10).

Smithsburg 46, Clear Spring 26
SMITHSBURG (5-2, 4-1)
Lee 7, Andrukat 6, Gladhill 2, Owens 18, Koterwas 3, Harbaugh 10. Totals 17 9-22 46.
CLEAR SPRING (2-6, 0-5)
Barnhart 8, Mills 12, Holtzman 1, Staley 5. Totals 7 12-27 26.
Smithsburg    19    7    9    11    —    46
Clear Spring    7    7    1    11    —    26
3-point goals—Smithsburg 3 (Owens 2, Koterwas).

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