Smithsburg (2-4, 1-3) held a 34-24 advantage over Clear Spring (3-5, 0-4) with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. Gladhill’s quartet of baskets came in an 8-2 run that increased the Leopards’ advantage to 42-26.
The Leopards outscored the Blazers 10-2 in the fourth quarter to cap the victory.
Gladhill scored a team-high 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists.
“I thought our team got a big lift when Sam made those four baskets in a row,” Smithsburg coach Jimmy Powell said. “That is two straight games that Sam has scored 13 points. I thought we did a great job on the boards tonight.”
Senior forward Elyse Koterwas had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Leopards. Senior guard Kinsey Shifflett added six rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Erica Hargreaves had three assists, while sophomore forward Cassidy Vega grabbed five rebounds.
“We have improved a lot since the beginning of the season,” Gladhill said. “We had good passing. We finally made our foul shots, which helped us. Our main strategy on defense was to box out and not let them get more than one shot. We boxed out well.”
“I thought that we played our best game of the year,” Powell said. “We have a good group of girls that work very hard. We have four of our next five games at home. We are looking forward to those games in trying to turn our season around.”
Junior forward Samantha Staley led the way for Clear Spring with 16 points and eight rebounds. Staley made 10 of 12 free throws.
Kristen Mellott added eight rebounds and Holly Haislip had three assists for the Blazers.
“You can’t win when you shoot 8-for-44 from the field and have 19 turnovers. The two just don’t mix together,” Clear Spring coach Bill McIntire said. “Smithsburg did a good job of pressuring the ball out front with their guards. We just settled for jump shots and we didn’t get the ball down low.”
Smithsburg 52, Clear Spring 28
CLEAR SPRING (3-5, 0-4)
Lipinski 1, Staley 16, Bowers 2, Forsman 5, Mellott 4. Totals 8 11-16 28.
SMITHSBURG (2-4, 1-3)
Koterwas 11, Hargreaves 2, Massie 2, Dennis 2, Gladhill 13, Duckworth 5, Shifflett 7, Kum 3, Vega 7. Totals 21 9-19 52.
Clear Spring 7 12 7 2 — 28
Smithsburg 14 15 13 10 — 52
3-point goals — Clear Spring 1 (Forsman), Smithsburg 1 (Koterwas).