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'Cats blaze to win

December 15, 1998|By JACK HILL III

WILLIAMSPORT - In the early moments of their game against Clear Spring on Monday night, the Williamsport Wildcats had trouble putting points on the scoreboard.

After six minutes, Williams-port was hanging on to a 4-3 lead.

But the Wildcats outscored the Blazers 24-2 during the next 8 1/2 minutes to build a 28-5 advantage.

That gave the Wildcats the offensive firepower that they needed to go on to a 62-34 victory.

"My fear of the game came true," Williamsport coach Deron Crawford said. "I was worried that after we gave a good effort against South High on Friday, then we would come out flat tonight. We had an off day yesterday, and that makes it tough coming into a Monday night game."

Mike Delinger and Josh Martin got a basket each in the final two minutes of the first quarter to extend Williamsport's lead to 8-3.

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The Wildcats put the Blazers away in the second quarter by scoring 20 points during the first 6 1/2 minutes. During that span, Matt Bowman fired in 10 points for Williamsport. Point guard Ryan Grabill capped the spurt by making a pair of free throws and a 3-point field goal.

"I thought that the key to the first half was our defensive intensity," Crawford said. "We held Clear Spring to three points in the first quarter and 10 points in the first half. That is good when you can hold a team to 10 points in the first half. During the second quarter, we challenged our players to be a little bit more aggressive on offense. We finally got some shots to fall and that opened up a little bit more space."

The Wildcats led the Blazers by a 31-10 margin at halftime, with 12 of those points coming from Bowman.

"We played very well defensively in the first quarter," Clear Spring coach Daryl Hunsberger said. "We had some problems in the second quarter. We had to go away from the game plan a little bit. We tried to up the tempo when they made a run, and we probably shouldn't have done that."

Bowman finished with a game-high 22 points, while Corey Wolfensberger added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats. Grabill collected 10 points, five assists and five rebounds, while Josh Reid grabbed seven rebounds for Williamsport.

Lee Mitchell led the Blazers with 10 points.

"We started to get an offense going during the second half," Hunsberger added. "We are a young team and we are trying to put the pieces together.''

Most of our players are newcomers. I have confidence in the boys and we will continue to strive to improve. We have to play consistent basketball for 32 minutes."

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