There's reason for hope, but not overconfidence GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW Francis Scott Key

December 03, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Francis Scott Key coach Brian Hollingsworth should be smiling a lot these days.

He has a scintillating point guard, Erin Murphey, returning for a third season and two other outstanding seniors back for their third years on the varsity.

Also, he has a 6-foot-2 junior transfer, Mady Hansborough, from Linganore.

All girls basketball coaches in Carroll County dream about a 6-2 transfer suddenly walking into the halls of their school.

That dream has become a reality for Hollingsworth.

But guess what?

The best Hollingsworth can say about the Eagles' chances in 1A competition this season is: "I'm guardedly optimistic."

Hollingsworth, in his sixth season at Key, has seen high preseason hopes flattened too many times in the past.

Like last season, when an outbreak of flu and virus and preseason injuries took their toll on the Eagles, who went on to finish 5-17.

Murphey and her two senior third-year teammates, Shelley Smith and Tina Smith, should have enough ability to carry Key beyond last season's five wins.

And if Hansborough uses her height to rebound, play defense and get some points inside, the Eagles just might be a .500 team or better.

Hollingsworth said he will run an up-tempo game this season, with the 5-1 Murphey directing the offense.

"Erin is one of the best I've ever had," Hollingsworth said. "She's a tireless worker, quick and led the team in scoring [14.8 per game], rebounding [8.5], steals [4.2] and assists [3.0]."

Shelley Smith will be the shooting guard, giving the Eagles strong defense and excellent movement without the ball.

Up front, Tina Smith (5-8) will be counted on for rebounding with her knack for boxing out. She is also one of those all-around, fundamentally sound players.

The other top Key players are expected to be sophomore guard-forward Maureen Ritcey, junior guard Amber Smith and junior forward Melanie Montgomery.

Hollingsworth also hopes to get some help from juniors Becky Tregoning, Paula Kontz, Melissa Cavey and Jenny Adler and senior exchange student Cecile Bertin.

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