An eight-point spurt in the last two minutes of the first quarter was enough to send visiting Middletown off and winging toward a 47-35 Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory over Francis Scott Key last night.
Junior guard Audra Frizzell sparked the winners (6-4 overall, 3-2 league) with 18 points, including four three-pointers and four free throws. And aggressive man-to-man defense by Middletown created problems at the other end of the floor.
A lot of the trouble for Key (8-3, 6-1), which went scoreless for more than six minutes in a stretch spanning the first two quarters, was self-inflicted. The Eagles, who finished with their season's lowest point total, made one basket in the first quarter, had 19 first-half turnovers, and trailed 25-10 at the break.
Key made more of a game of it in the second half, and actually outscored the visitors, but the game was already lost.
"Nice comeback, but the damage had already been done," said senior Sindi Stem, in her third varsity season. "It goes back to our practices. We're not pushing ourselves.
"The coach [Alice Smith] has talked about it and done all she can, but it's the players' fault. We're not striving to get better. We do conditioning drills, and we have some going only half-way. That hurts not only the individual but the whole team."
Adria Stonesifer, a 6-foot sophomore who had 20 points in a win at North Hagerstown nine days ago, topped six scorers with eight points, followed by Stem, seven.
"I wasn't getting around my [defender] the way I'm supposed to," Stonesifer said.
Despite its woes, Key was within 6-2 after six minutes, but four free throws by scoring leader Frizzell and a close-range basket each by Kim Waeber, Katie Kerstetter (her only one) and Allison Johnson provided the Knights with a 16-2 cushion.
Waeber had a solid, all-round game, ending with nine points, six rebounds, three assists and five of her side's 11 steals.
Late in the second quarter, Frizzell compounded Key's problems when she hit back-to-back three-pointers -- the first two of her four -- for a 24-8 margin.
In the third quarter, her try made it 30-12, but Jessie Suter and Samantha Stambaugh knocked down successive 15-foot shots, marking the first time the home team had made two consecutive baskets. When Stambaugh converted a Stem pass, it got their team within 30-18, but Waeber put back a rebound and Frizzell added an open "three' to make sure this one did not get away.
Middletown coach Kara Nelson called it "a 180-degree turn-around," adding: "Next to Smithsburg, this was our best game of the season.
"We knew what we were up against with their height [five players between 5-9 and 6-0], but I thought we were mentally prepared to deal with it. Also, we played tough defense."
Pub Date: 1/14/99