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MERCER COUNTY Bell chimes in with 25 to lead Sharon's victory



Published: Tue, January 15, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Tigers opened a big lead early against Wilmington.

By BILL ALBRIGHT

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

NEW WILMINGTON -- The Sharon High girls basketball team, on the strength of 25 points and a dozen boards from Julie Bell, opened a big lead in the first half and cruised to a 65-46 win over Wilmington Monday in a Mercer County game.

Joining Bell in double figures for Sharon (12-1) were Erin Leyde with 14 points and Nicole Valentino with 10.

Wilmington (3-9) was paced by Jessica Reiber with 15 points and Jamie Thomas with a dozen.

Scoring 19 of her 25 points in the first half, Bell was virtually unstoppable.

"She had a real nice game inside and the kids were looking to her," Sharon coach Mary Jo Staunch said. "She was also very aggressive on the boards and picked up some points that way. We sort of got a little sloppy down the stretch, but it was a good win for us."

No match-up: Wilmington (3-9) coach Katy DeMedal agreed that her team had no one who could stay with Bell, a 6-foot-1 senior.

"Kylie [Mackaness] did an OK job, but she [Bell] is just too tough to stop on the inside," DeMedal said.

"We're young, but I think as the game went on, the kids got a little bit better and more used to it. I think it just a lack of experience on our part, and all we can do is continue to work hard."

Staunch also agreed that it was nice to get some of her younger kids some playing time.

"If you are looking down the road and to the future, it gives those young kids some quality minutes," said Staunch. "It gives them a feeling of how it is to play in a varsity game, so for some of them, it was a good experience."

Coming up: The Tigers have a pair of tough games coming up later in the week, as they play host to Warren Kennedy on Thursday before visiting Kennedy Catholic Saturday.

"Those games are going to be real challenges for our kids, but I think it fits right in there," Staunch said. "They will be two real tough games for us right before we go into league play and that can only make us better.

"We have a few little things that we need to get straightened out and improve on, and those two games should tell us where we are. I think we have good team chemistry with our first five or seven kids. They have a goal in mind and they are really working hard to reach that goal."

With the Sharon starters on the bench to begin the fourth period, the Greyhounds were able to cut their deficit from 26 points to the final margin of 19.

"They did a nice job when they were in there," said DeMedal of her younger players. "But again, we're young, and hopefully if they keep working hard and stick with it, they will be OK in the future."




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