N. Carroll keeps its record clean, 53-48 Panthers refuse to fold in win over Walkersville


December 18, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Unbeaten North Carroll hustled, scrapped and made enough points to stay with taller Walkersville for 26 minutes, then settled down for the final six to play better and hold off the visitors last night, 53-48.

No more than five points separated the two teams until North Carroll, giving away inches at four starting positions, got its up-tempo game working and converted some passes into baskets.

Ahead 44-41 with 4: 30 left, the Panthers' Danielle Shearer sank a free throw to complete a three-point play, and after the sides swapped baskets, the home team widened the margin.

For the first time in the game, North Carroll made three straight baskets, as Katie Mullinix went inside, Jen Geiman drove, and Heather Easter converted a pass from Meredith Gill.

That made it 53-43 with 2: 30 to go and sent the leaders off to their third straight win. The loss dropped Walkersville to 1-2.

Earlier, there had been seven ties and nine lead changes before coach Greg Knill's team went in front to stay at 31-29 when Stephanie Rogers put back a rebound.

Shearer finished with 12 points, followed by Rogers and Mullinix with 10 apiece, for a team that does not have an individual standout but rather a group that appears to mix and match and get the job done.

Earlier wins had been by one point over Francis Scott Key (3-0 since then) and two over North Harford in overtime.

Walkersville was the team with the individual standout, as 5-foot-10 Julia Demirer had 24 points and eight rebounds. She was the go-to player down the stretch, inside and out, but she missed her last five shots, three from outside the arc.

Walkersville's 5-10 April Brooks got inside for seven rebounds, but she ended with only two baskets and six points. Overall, the visitors were unable to capitalize on their height advantage as they made only a third of their 51 shots from the field.

"I thought the difference was our ability to box out late, and we were able to get some rebounds," said North Carroll coach Greg Knill.

"Basically, our defense got better, and we played well enough to win. The thing I liked was, we had the lead in the fourth quarter and held it.

Walkersville coach Mike Mathis said, "I thought we had some good stretches, but there were some mental breakdowns defensively, especially in the second half. And we missed a lot of shots."

Pub Date: 12/18/97

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