Breaks don't go way of Blazers

February 11, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

CLEAR SPRING - In through the nose, out through the mouth.

Breathing seems so simple when you don't think about it. But take away the nose, and things become much more difficult.

The Clear Spring girls basketball team is learning the hard way how to only breathe with its mouth, losing 55-30 to Mercersburg Academy on Wednesday afternoon after playing without leading scorer Jessica Jones, who is out with a broken nose.

"Today, what can you say?" Blazers coach Bill Jones asked. "We rely so much on Jess and Holly (Aleshire), and with one of them gone, no one really stepped in to take her place."


Jones broke her nose Friday against Hancock, but didn't know it. According to coach Jones, it bled again after Saturday's game with Hedgesville, and got worse Monday against Jefferson, when she left in the first quarter. At that point, the senior guard was taken to the hospital for X-rays. On Wednesday, doctors said she was not allowed to play.

"We just found out at 1:30," Jones said after his team's 3:30 tipoff. "We were kind of throwing together a lineup and game plan after that."

With Jones gone, Mercersburg immediately went to choke off the remaining air the Blazers could get. The Blue Storm (7-10) abandoned its man-to-man early in the game and collapsed on Aleshire inside with 3-2 and 2-1-2 zones.

"We were down 6-2 at that point, and shouldn't have been," Mercersburg coach Aron Solomon said. "We switched into the zones, and at times played them very tough."

After an 11-11 first quarter tie, Clear Spring (3-15) was in desperate need of the Heimlich maneuver. With Aleshire bottled up, the Blazers aired it out from the perimeter - and usually missed. Clear Spring finished 2-for-22 from the field in the second quarter as the Blue Storm went on a 17-4 run against a triangle-and-2 defense to put the game away.

"We haven't seen one of those," Solomon said. "But with Holly always looking for Erin (McCartney), it took a little bit out of her on both ends," Solomon said. "And we got a lot of good looks at the basket and made our shots."

McCartney, the Tri-State area's third-leading scorer, finished with a game-high 16 for Mercersburg, which also got a career-high eight from Katie Porter. Aleshire led Clear Spring with nine points, and Desiree Blankenship had eight.

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