There has not been much doubt about Francis Scott Key's season-long stifling defense, and last night the Eagles got a stellar offensive show to go with it. The result was a 66-39 rout of visiting Brunswick in a key Monocacy Valley Athletic League contest.
Key (14-4 overall, 12-2 in MVAL) notched its sixth straight triumph, while Brunswick (13-5 overall) slipped to 10-4 in the league as its six-game winning streak came to a halt. This was a measure of revenge for an earlier 63-57 Brunswick victory.
Key, in first place in the MVAL, will shoot for a similar reversal Friday night at Middletown, a 47-35 winner in their first meeting. Of the other MVAL contenders, Smithsburg has three losses and Brunswick and Middletown have four each.
With the victory, the Eagles not only extended a winning streak but a defensive one as well. In its 14 victories, coach Alice Smith's team has checked the opposition on 43 points or fewer. For the year, the differential is 47.2 to 36.7.
As for the offense, the 66 points were the most the school has scored since February 1997, when it tallied 72 against Boonsboro. That season was also the last time the team had four scorers in double figures in a single game.
The four last night were starters Adria Stonesifer (14), Sindi Stem (11) and Melissa Merson (10), and Sam Stambaugh, a 6-foot sophomore who came off the bench to get a career-high 16.
"They're used to scoring at least 60 points a game, so we worked on some things to try and stop that," Smith said of defending Brunswick. "We shifted quickly and moved fast in our zone," and it kept the visitors off-balance.
Brunswick, which has lost one of its starters because of a discipline situation, was able to struggle and win its first two without her, but it had no chance last night. As coach Bill Martin put it, "We lost our leader and we're like a rudderless boat. We're floundering.
"Key is very disciplined and very well-coached, and we couldn't get anything to click. Besides, they have the two tall girls [6-foot sophomore Stonesifer plus Stambaugh] and I admire Stem to pieces. She's a fine player."
The home team had it going from the start, knocking down three of its first four shots for a 6-0 lead in less than two minutes.
It was 12-7 at the end of the quarter, and such was Key's defense that the Railroaders had only two baskets in each of the first two quarters (4-for-28 shooting at the half) and trailed 26-13 at the intermission. Over the same span, Key, which has had some shooting woes of its own on occasion, was 12 of 29.
The Eagles got single baskets from four different players in opening a 38-15 cushion in little more than three minutes of the third quarter. Ahead by 19 going to the last period, Key added the icing with a 12-2 spree.
Jamie Cable, averaging 16 points, had 14 for Brunswick, but she was coming off a 27-point, 16-rebound effort in last week's 56-45 win over South Hagerstown, and just before that, had produced 28 points against Middletown.
Pub Date: 2/10/99