Spencer, South Carroll prove dominant, 62-20

January 27, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Nicole Spencer and South Carroll made their debut against Carroll County girls basketball opposition this season a stunning one.

The 11th-ranked Cavaliers crushed two-time defending county champion North Carroll, 62-20, last night, serving notice they are the team to beat this season.

Spencer, a 5-foot-8 junior center, played with more confidence last night than she has all season and dominated the game inside.

Spencer had 13 points, 11 rebounds and five steals for South Carroll (8-3 overall, 3-1 in the Central Maryland Conference, 1-0 in the county). Melissa Gettemy had 14 points and Amy Stephenson contributed 10 points.

The only thing that prevented Spencer from turning in bigger scoring numbers was her inability to hit some high-percentage shots inside.

Those same shots have plagued her in the first 11 games, but South Carroll coach Al Skierski believes Spencer's luck will change soon. Spencer has been victimized by a number of shots that roll around the cylinder and fall out.

"Nicole had that old confidence back tonight," Skierski said of his center, who missed more than half of last season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in her knee. "She's been practicing well and we had a talk. She has a new attitude and a new spirit. She missed some shots but they will start to fall."

When Spencer was asked why she is playing with renewed confidence, she said: "My vacation [four snow days last week]. I'm pretty much all the way back now. Our team did so well tonight because we played strong defense."

Unlike past games, Spencer didn't panic when she got into early foul trouble. She collected two fouls in the first five minutes of the game but still scored eight points in the first half and led the Cavaliers to a 29-13 halftime lead.

After building the big halftime lead, South Carroll came out and scored eight of the first 10 points in the third quarter to build the margin to 37-15.

Moments later, Skierski started going to his bench for reserves and had all the subs on the floor in the fourth quarter.

"We looked like the 11th-ranked team in the metro area tonight," said Skierski. "That wasn't true of the game we played against Linganore right after the holidays. To me, North Carroll looked tonight like we did in that game. They were a step slow, out a sync and their shooting was off."

North Carroll (4-7, 0-2, 1-1) didn't have a player score over five points. The Panthers were obviously hurt by the absence of sophomore point guard Julie Baker, who quit the team after the holidays.

Knill said of the 42-point loss: "It was all there for everybody to see. Whatever you want to say about how badly we played, it fits. We can play better than this and we will. We'll get back in the gym and work at it. I really expected to see us win this game but then again, I expect to win every game."

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