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Girls basketball: Smithsburg clamps down on Williamsport's offense

January 24, 2012|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT — It wasn’t a pretty win, but it was a win nonetheless.

Smithsburg grinded out a 37-23 MVAL Antietam victory over Williamsport on Tuesday night behind a strong defensive performance and a game-high 16 points by Elisa Owens.

“It was a good defensive game,” Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. “It was a good team effort and a good team win tonight.”

The Leopards’ defense was stout all night and held Williamsport to single-digit scoring totals in three of the four quarters.

Williamsport’s offense didn’t do much to help its cause. The Wildcats shot a dismal 19 percent (4-for-21) from the floor in the first half.

“We missed too many easy shots,” Williamsport coach Chris Malott stated. “You won’t win a varsity high school game scoring just 23 points.”

Williamsport (5-9, 2-7) scored its first points of the game at the 4:25 mark of the first quarter. The Wildcats hit two more field goals, then went into a 10-minute scoring drought that was broken with 3:11 remaining in the second quarter.

“We have to be more confident when we take shots,” Malott said. “We go through these spurts where we lack confidence.”

Maybe the only confident scorer on the court was Owens, who scored nearly half of Smithsburg’s points.

“It felt good to make those shots,” Owens said. “But you have to play as a team and can win when everyone contributes.”

“(Owens) is a leader for us,” Barnhart said. “She stepped up on defense and when we looked at her for shots. She played a complete game.”

The Leopards (6-5, 5-3) led 20-8 at the half after holding Williamsport to just two second-quarter points.

Williamsport tried making a game of it in the third quarter, outscoring the Leopards 11-2 and cutting the lead to just three.

Smithsburg got out of its offensive funk in the fourth quarter, opening the final eight minutes with an 8-0 run that sealed the game.

“It’s a good defensive game when you hold your opponent to 20 first-half points and 37 points for the game,” Malott said. “We just struggled offensively.”

Williamsport didn’t have a double-digit scorer, but were led by Casey Arnone, who finished with five points.

Alexis Andrukat had eight points and five assists for Smithsburg, while freshman Elyse Koterwas finished with seven points and seven rebounds in her first start.

Smithsburg 37, Williamsport 23
SMITHSBURG (6-5, 5-3)
Owens 16, Andrukat 8, Koterwas 7, Harbaugh 2, Holl 2, Lee 2. Totals 13 8-12 37.
WILLIAMSPORT (5-9, 2-7)
Arnone 5, Christy 4, Key 4, Kastelen 3, Palmer 3, Malott 2, Strite 2. Totals 9 5-8 23.
Smithsburg     13    7    2    15    —    37
Williamsport    6    2    11    4    —    23
3-point goals — Smithsburg 3 (Owens 2, Andrukat). Williamsport 1 (Palmer).

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