Biggest adjustment ahead as Lipton exits Va. Tech

Lessons learned as Hokie promise to serve her well



April 02, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Emily Lipton was back home relaxing in Crofton last weekend, just days after her solid, four-year Virginia Tech career at point guard had ended with a loss to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

The 80-62 loss to the Boilermakers was still hanging heavy over her, and it was tough to think about an 85-41 career record at Tech, two NCAA tournament appearances and 92 collegiate starts at the Big East school.

It has been quite a run for the former St. Mary's All-Metro Player of the Year, even though there were some tough adjustments to make from her carefree high school days in a high-octane offense.

"I was never a true point guard in high school," she said before heading back to Blacksburg, Va., for the final weeks before graduation.

"I was a 1-2 guard in a fast-breaking offense at St. Mary's, and then I'm the only point guard we have at Virginia Tech my freshman year. I wish there had been someone for me to look up to at the point that year because we were running a deliberate, half-court, post-oriented offense."

Lipton also had to learn how to live with taking two to three shots a game as opposed to an ever-present green shooting light at St. Mary's. Her job was to quarterback the Tech offense and deliver the ball to the post.

"It was tough for a while, but I adjusted," said Lipton. "And I loved playing in two NCAA tournaments. Most of all, I made a lot of great friends and I just love Blacksburg. It is a wonderful college town."

Lipton hit two key three-pointers early in the 61-59 victory over Georgia Tech in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

The 5-foot-7 Lipton had 83 assists to 60 turnovers this season, totaled 25 steals and averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds for the Hokies (22-10).

Garris was hot shot

Kentucky Wesleyan junior forward Damon Garris (Woodlawn), who played an important role in ending Bowie State's drive for a national Division II championship Thursday in the semifinals, had a hot shooting hand all season for the Panthers.

Garris, 6-4, had a 59.5 shooting percentage this season, while starting 29 games and averaging 20.9 minutes for the Panthers (31-4).

Kentucky Wesleyan was beaten by Northeastern (Okla.) State, 75-64, on Saturday in the nationally televised NCAA Division II title game.

Garris, who transferred to Kentucky Wesleyan from Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan., averaged 11.8 points and 5.7 rebounds, had a total of 33 steals and 52 assists, and hit 73.2 percent from the free-throw line. He was third on the team in scoring and assists and second in rebounding and steals.

Et cetera

Four former Cardinal Gibbons baseball standouts - St. Bonaventure sophomore shortstop Craig King, North Carolina-Pembroke junior catcher Nick Hoffman, College of St. Rose (N.Y.) junior pitcher Justin King and College of St. Rose freshman utility man Matt Foster - are off to strong starts this spring. Craig King is hitting .323, Hoffman is batting .333 with two home runs and 19 RBIs, Justin King is 2-0 on the mound with a 1.00 ERA and Foster is 5-for-11 (.455).

Roanoke sophomore Alexis Thompson (Seton Keough) captured the 100 meters (13.36) and 200 meters (27.20), took fifth in the triple jump and finished 10th in the long jump last week, leading her school to a first-place finish in the Maroon Invitational.

Haverford senior outfielder Aaron Rabinowitz (Park School), leads the team in batting average (.400), slugging percentage (.771), and runs scored (nine), in addition to having three home runs, eight RBIs and a .475 on-base percentage. The Fords are 9-6-1 overall.

Franklin & Marshall senior DH/first baseman Jason Schwartzberg (McDonogh), wielded a hot bat during spring break in Fort Pierce, Fla. He went 8-for-16, driving in eight runs, and compiling a .750 slugging percentage.

Freshman Katie Leland (Dulaney) has made an impressive lacrosse debut at New Hampshire, scoring six goals and contributing two assists in the team's first seven games.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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