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Minute details sink Clear Spring

February 07, 1999

BY BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING - Two minutes ... 120 ticks ... two short rides on the second hand around the clock.

However you may look at it, Clear Spring boys basketball coach Daryl Hunsberger knows that in that span of time Saturday night, the Blazers kept their winless streak alive.

[cont. from sports page]

The Williamsport Wildcats overcame a lethargic first quarter and used a two-minute burst to get comfortable in the second half in a 65-41 non-league win over Clear Spring. It was the Wildcats' fourth win in a row despite a week that saw four starters suffer injuries.

Down 11-7 after one quarter, Williamsport came back with a 20-point second frame and led 27-17 at halftime. The Blazers (0-17) had used their entire bench up to that point, and clearly ran the necessary mixes to stay with the Wildcats, but had trouble finishing.

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"At halftime, I told them the first two minutes of the third quarter would make or break us," Hunsberger said. "We thought we saw an opportunity to run a few inside plays that would work."

Clear Spring took the ball into the paint, but two missed layups and two midcourt steals increased the Wildcat lead to 35-18. One Blazer free throw couldn't stop the slide, as Williamsport rattled off eight more points and the game was essentially over.

Although Williamsport in-creased the intensity of the game with its trapping halfcourt press in the second and third quarters, it was the transition game the Wildcats played after Clear Spring's numerous turnovers that keyed the rally.

"Turnovers, especially our steals, really changed the face of the game," Wildcats coach Deron Crawford said. "But you have to hand it to Clear Spring, they came out and played tough. We expected it."

The Wildcats (10-7) had 15 steals and scored several layups as the up-tempo guard play of Matt Bowman and Ryan Grabill became too much for the Blazers.

But Clear Spring (0-17) approached this game the same way they have every other - the cup is always half full.

"We played our best quarter against a quality team this year," Hunsberger said of the Blazers' first quarter, when they ran out to a 7-0 lead and ended the stanza ahead, 11-7. "We are starting to do some right things instinctively now and we are still improving."

"We have an intelligent group of guys and they knew what they had to do once we got ahead," Crawford said. "Our offense was working nicely and we put them in a position where they had to make the shots."

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