North Carroll finds conference victory elusive once again

Bad shooting, rebounding add up to 64-31 defeat to CMC opponent Urbana

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 15, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

North Carroll girls basketball coach Bernie Koontz knows it's simply a matter of time before his team celebrates its next conference victory.

Last night against visiting Urbana, however, the Panthers followed a familiar story line - poor shooting, spotty rebounding and yet another loss. Their 64-31 defeat was their 18th straight in Central Maryland Conference play.

"I think a lot of it right now is psychological," Koontz said. "They're playing some of these teams that they know beat them last year. That's part of the battle, you've got to win the mental game also. You've got to have confidence when you step on the floor."

Facing an Urbana squad that has made state final appearances two of the past three seasons, however, that confidence was in short supply.

Led by 6-foot center Ashley White (15 points), the Hawks (10-2 overall, 4-0 conference) took a 13-4 lead in the first 4:25 and never looked back, using their superior athletic ability and interior size to build their lead to as much as 20 in the first half and 35 by the fourth quarter.

While Panthers guard Katy Winemiller (10 points) consistently helped her team break Urbana's press, the Hawks dominated under the glass, getting as many as five shots on a possession while routinely holding the Panthers to a single attempt. During the second and third quarters, in fact, Urbana took 44 shots to North Carroll's 15.

"We know what we need to work on, and we're working on it," Koontz said. "We definitely know right now ... we need to focus on shooting. We've got to get people who are going to put the ball in the hole. We also need to improve our rebounding."

Last month, the Panthers posted consecutive wins over Hereford, North East and Francis Scott Key. Then, last Tuesday against Thomas Johnson, an upper-echelon conference team, they trailed by just 3 with just over six minutes to play before losing by 21.

To Urbana coach Chris Krivos, North Carroll's recent lack of success has less to do with its inadequacies and more to do with the strength of the league.

"North Carroll is kind of down right now and struggling a little bit ... but with that said, I think our conference is very, very tough," Krivos said. "You can talk about the Baltimore Catholic League or the Washington Catholic League all you want, but I think our conference is as tough as any.

"If you look at the state finals, Urbana has been there twice in the last three years, Frederick has been there, Linganore has been there. There's not too many conferences that can send that many teams."

The Panthers (5-7, 0-4) will get another crack at a conference win Friday against South Carroll,`'I think it's a team we can compete with," Koontz said.

"I think it's just a matter of time before we can find some way to make it click and put 32 minutes of basketball together."

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