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Girls Basketball: Wildcats fight, Knights prevail

February 22, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Williamsport's Kate Wade, right, reacts as her arm gets caught between the ball and the arm of Middletown's Carly Tolino (44) during Friday night's Maryland Class 2A West first-round playoff game in Middletown.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

MIDDLETOWN, Md. — As Williamsport coach Chris Malott said after Friday’s girls basketball playoff game against Middletown, “It was like Ali and Frazier.”

Given little, if any, chance to survive the opening round of the Maryland Class 2A West tournament against Middletown, Williamsport nearly did.

Middletown took away Williamsport’s momentum in the final 10 minutes to post a 54-47 victory and earn a quarterfinal matchup at Walkersville.

“We were given no chance to win, but (Middletown) knew we were here,” said Malott. “I give our effort a 92 percent tonight, but I guess we needed at least a 95.”

Middletown (15-7) held a 26-19 lead with just more than three minutes left in the first half before the Wildcats caught fire, including five points from Karli Grimes, to forge a 28-28 halftime deadlock.

That’s when things finally picked up after a rugged start filled with turnovers.

“Both teams didn’t know how to play at the beginning because the stripes were inconsistent with their calls,” Middletown coach Bill Miskeill said. “Once we figured it out, we knew what we could do.”

That included more use of senior Caitlin McLister, the Knights’ leading scorer with 20 points, including 10 in the second half and six during the crucial point of the game that led to the final outcome.

Williamsport (13-10) had a 35-34 lead with 5:30 remaining in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Victoria Key. Middletown bounced right back to take a 38-35 lead before Key hit another 3 for a 38-38 tie with 2:05 to go in the period.

McLister then took over, turning two steals into scores and aiding in another bucket that gave Middletown a 46-38 lead after three.

“(Caitlin) is about senior leadership,” Miskell said. “Williamsport had us on our heels, but momentum changed jerseys at the end of the quarter.”

Middletown stretched its lead to 49-38 at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats cut it to 49-44 on a 3 by Erin Palmer and a three-point play by Hannah Kastelein with 4:30 left.

Middletown had back-to-back turnovers, but the Wildcats came up empty on their possessions trying to get closer and did not score again until the fifth 3 of the game by Key after the Knights had a 53-44 lead.

“(Middletown) was strong on the inside and did a good job of knocking the ball away when we tried to go inside,” Malott said.

Sophomore Carly Tolino and Stottlemyre used their bulk to handle the inside. Tolino had 10 points and eight rebounds, while Stottlemyre had five points and five boards in the second half.

“We made some adjustments in the lineup because of early foul trouble, and those two gave us some major minutes,” Miskell said.

The Knights’ foul trouble paled compared to Williamsport’s as Malott had to work around Kate Wade, Key and Palmer all collecting third personal fouls in the third quarter.

In the end, Middletown owned an advantage at the foul line, hitting 16 of 25 while Williamsport was 8 for 10.

“I am just so proud of the performance from these girls tonight,” Malott said. “We had great senior leadership this year from Kastelein, Key and (Caroline) Strite.”

Key’s five 3-pointers gave her a team-high 15 points and Wade, only a freshman, had 11 points. Kastelein and Carly Robinson had eight rebounds each.

Middletown 54, Williamsport 47
WILLIAMSPORT (13-10)
Grimes 5, Key 5, Kastelein 7, C. Robinson 2, Wade 11, Strite 2, Palmer 5. Totals 16 8-10 47.
MIDDLETOWN (15-7)
Racz 7, Harne 6, Kelley 4, McLister 20, Tolino 10, George 2, Stottlemyer 5. Totals 19 16-25 54.
Williamsport    12    16    10    9    —    47
Middletown    14    14    18    8    —    54
3-point goals — Williamsport 97 (Key 5, Wade, Palmer).

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