F.S. Key nets fourth straight county title Eagles sweep round-robin, roll past Liberty in final


October 04, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

The only chance Francis Scott Key gets to show whether it is the county's best team is in the annual county tournament.

Yesterday, for the fourth straight year, the Eagles proved their right to the claim when they finished unbeaten in round-robin play, then stopped host Liberty for the championship, 15-8, 15-10.

This is an entirely different Key squad than the one from a year ago. That team, with only one senior regular, got keyed to win the county tournament, then faded, losing five of its last six matches. The team righted itself in the playoffs, winning twice before losing the regional final.

This year, a veteran team, led by seniors Carrie Weant, Jessica Broderick and Stephanie Robertson, won five of its first six matches going into the tournament. The only loss was to Monocacy Valley power Smithsburg, 3-0.

"We are more experienced, and with our height and strength, are able to put the ball down," Key coach Alice Smith said.

"Throughout the tournament, we were very good defensively, and played well as a team. We are consistent and smart enough to see what other teams are doing and adjust. That adjustment comes with experience."

Against Key in the final, Liberty was within 7-5 in the first game, but got no closer. Broderick served out the game from 11-8. Liberty made two runs in the second game, using four straight points to get a tie at 7, and prolonging matters with three successive points to close to 13-10. Robertson served for the final two Key points.

"We didn't play badly -- just not good enough," said Liberty coach Dave Trumbo.

While these two schools repeated their playoff of a year ago, dTC South Carroll generated some excitement Friday night, sweeping North Carroll and Westminster to tie Key at 4-0 halfway through the program. Yesterday, it lost to Key and Liberty.

Although South Carroll had not performed well in past tournaments, "we were confident we could do well here," coach Debbie Eaton said. "The players came in with a positive attitude.

Among those who have been playing well for the Cavaliers are Emily Wolfing and twins Danielle and Devin Caballero.

The final pool standings were: Francis Scott Key, 8-0; Liberty, 5-3; South Carroll, 4-4; North Carroll, 2-6; and Westminster, 1-7.

Pub Date: 10/04/98

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