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'Cats lick phobia in tourney win

December 30, 1998

Williamsport versus BoonsboroBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




WILLIAMSPORT - Some people are afraid of garden snakes, others of ferris wheels.

Tuesday night during Williamsport's 47-32 victory over Boonsboro for the Richard E. Doub Classic title, the No. 7 Wildcats were nearly struck down by their fear of the scoreboard.

Or more specifically, what the scoreboard was telling them - that they did not score in the second period.

[cont. from sports page]

Williamsport burst to a 13-2 lead. Becky Arch's layin with 17 seconds left in the first period gave Williamsport a 15-6 lead, and its last bit of comfort for the next 12 minutes.

The Wildcats (6-1) went on to miss all 11 shots from the field and six free throws in the second quarter, and the Warriors got 12 points of their own. When Liz Smith swished two free throws with 7:45 left in the third, Williamsport was staring at a 22-15 deficit.

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"Sometimes it happens," Williamsport head coach Curtis Graff said. "They get worried, they start to rush every shot ... they become afraid. It's a fear that's in all of us."

But Megan Andrews' free throw with 7:18 left in the quarter brought mock cheers from the crowd, broke a 20-2 Boonsboro run and served as an exodus for all the demons bothering the Wildcats.

"We just talked about that fear at the half," Graff said. "That I have confidence in them, and they must have confidence in themselves. That you've just got to look fear in the eye and spit in it."

And that little bit of spit turned into a geyser for the Warriors (2-5). Williamsport went on a 25-2 run in the next eight minutes, turning a close game into a 40-24 blowout.

Andrews led an overly balanced Williamsport attack with seven points as nine Wildcats got in the scorebook. Jessica Griffin had 12 to lead Boonsboro, and Smith and Jade Whipp had 10 each.

"This is just the experience these kids needed," Boonsboro coach Bernie Semler said. "In the first half, we played good defense and rebounded well. In the second half, they really got to us with their pressure man-to-man, and hit some of those shots they were missing earlier."

* In the consolation game, Broadfording snapped a two-game losing streak, getting 18 points from all-tournament selection Bianca Holt to beat Northern Garrett, 45-33.

It's also the first win for the Lions (9-2), without star forward Vennece Fowlkes, who averages 19 points and 13 rebounds per game.

"They needed that boost of confidence," Broadfording coach Dana Gonzales said. "She (Fowlkes) came in before and challenged them to step up. And it was a total team effort."

The Lions also got 12 points and 13 rebounds from Tiffany Tucker and 10 rebounds and four steals from Ashley Mason.

Holt, Brooke Wiemer, Andrews, Michelle Reeder of Boonsboro and Heather Nugent of Northern were selected to the all-tournament team.

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