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Silent nightWildcats wins before silent crowd

February 26, 1997

By MARK KELLER

Staff Writer

WILLIAMSPORT - Kevin Murphy felt as if he'd entered another dimension Tuesday night.

Murphy's Williamsport boys' basketball team beat Boonsboro, 50-37, in the regular season finale, but the Wildcats coach couldn't help but shake his head after the game.

"It was like The Twilight Zone out there tonight," said Murphy, whose team has won 18 straight games. "I used to watch that show when I was a kid. The crowd was great, but it was like they weren't into the game. I was hoping we'd get something going and get them behind us, but it never really happened. It was an unusual situation."

A large crowd was on hand as the Wildcats celebrated Parents' Night, but Boonsboro did everything it could to keep the fans from becoming a factor.

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The Warriors (7-15, 6-12 Monocacy Valley Athletic League) slowed the tempo to a crawl in an attempt to stay in the game with the deeper Wildcats. Boonsboro worked the ball around the perimeter on offense, then stayed back in a 3-2 zone on defense in an attempt to make Williamsport shoot from outside.

Boonsboro performed its game plan well, and trailed by as few as five points late in the second quarter. But a 3-pointer by Andy Artz gave Williamsport (21-1, 17-1) a 28-20 lead at halftime.

The Warriors continued to keep the pace down in the second half, but the outside shots began to fall for Williamsport. A 3-pointer from Steve Ritchie pushed the margin to 10, and Andy Brown put back an offensive rebound for a 38-26 edge.

Williamsport's lead remained in double digits until a Justin Talley 3-pointer cut Boonsboro's deficit to 44-35 with 1:30 left in the game. But Artz and Duc Trieu were perfect from the foul line in the final minute as the Wildcats put the game away.

"This was the first time all year that we have executed a game plan over four quarters against a good team," said Boonsboro coach Curt Conway. "Tonight we stuck with the plan. Keep the tempo down and have patience on offense and hope we can hang around and pull the game out."

"They did a nice job tonight ," Murphy said of the Warriors. "They made us play defense for long stretches. I was hoping we would be sharper tonight.

"Winning is eliminating mistakes, making fewer every night," Murphy added. "Tonight, we made more than our share of mistakes."

Artz led Williamsport with 17 points and nine rebounds, and Trieu added 11 off the bench.

Doug Nicodemus and Cory Linton each had eight points for the Warriors. Linton had eight rebounds.

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