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Wildcats steal one from Rebels

January 26, 1997

By MARK KELLER

Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - There was no doubt about the turning point in Saturday's South Hagerstown-Williamsport boys' basketball game. But if anybody in the Williamsport gymnasium blinked at the wrong moment, they may have missed it.

The Wildcats scored seven points in a span of 25 seconds early in the fourth quarter and broke open a tight game before beating South, 60-44, in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game.

Williamsport (11-1, 8-1) led 38-30 entering the final period, but the lead quickly grew. Josh Trumpower hit one of two free throws and scored off a Duc Trieu assist for a 41-30 cushion.

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The Wildcats then applied full-court pressure, and South (4-8, 2-7) couldn't handle it. Steve Ritchie made a steal and found Trieu underneath the basket for an easy layup. Ritchie and Trieu duplicated the play on South's next inbounds pass to increase the margin to 45-30 with 6:57 remaining. South coach Bob Starkey was forced to use a timeout.

"We came out and lost our composure. They got those couple quick steals and made it work," Starkey said. "It came down to those couple fragments where we didn't play well, and it cost us."

Shane Carbaugh hit a 12-footer and Corey Becks added a pair of free throws after the timeout to cut South's deficit to 11 points. The Rebels eventually pulled within 10 on two free throws by Scott DeVore, but a 3-pointer by Trieu with 5:07 left turned out to be the back-breaker.

"We attacked their zone much better in the second half," said Williamsport coach Kevin Murphy. "But those quick turnovers helped us spurt to double digits, that was where it turned."

After falling behind 10-4, South battled to tie the score at 12 after one quarter. Jake Windle scored five points in a 9-0 run to push the Rebels in front 21-12 with 3:00 left in the half. But Trieu, who finished with 13 points, drained a 3-pointer 20 seconds later that helped the Wildcats cut South's advantage to 23-19 at the half.

Becks scored the first points of the second half, but Andy Artz and Ritchie combined for 12 of the game's next 14 points to move Williamsport ahead to stay, 31-27. Artz finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Ritchie added 11 points, seven rebounds and nine steals.

"They sat back in the zone and let us fire away in the first half and we couldn't score," Murphy said. "We didn't score the first five minutes of the second quarter and we're only down nine. We simply shot much better in the second half."

Becks led South with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 13 blocked shots. Windle added nine points.

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