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Leopards win boys basketball game

December 07, 1999|By BOB PARASILITI

SMITHSBURG - Clear Spring's boys basketball team came to Smithsburg Tuesday and brought with them some painful memories to the Leopards.

It wasn't all that long ago that Smithsburg was riding an unbearably long losing streak - much like the Blazers have right now. It was a time when the monkey on the Leopards' back felt like King Kong.

So with Clear Spring putting up a fight in the first half, Smithsburg became motivated to become diamond cutters with a quick start in the third quarter to put away a diamond in the rough in a 69-47 victory to extend the Blazers' losing streak to 25 games.

"We played soft in the first half," Smithsburg coach Dave Morris said. "We just picked up the intensity in the second half. We are more athletic than Clear Spring but they were getting to all the loose balls. They were smaller than we were, so we started throwing the ball over the top of them."

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Clear Spring (0-1) used the diamond defensive package - the 1-3-1 alignment - to try and keep Smithsburg out of the middle of the floor. The Leopards ran off a 14-2 in the final 3 minutes, 55 seconds of the first quarter to take a 23-11 lead before throwing the knockout punch with a 12-3 run to start the third quarter.

But it wasn't like Blazers coach Daryl Hunsberger didn't know what was coming.

"I'm tickled with the way the kids played. They played 32 minutes of no-quit basketball," Hunsberger said. "I told them at the half that (Smithsburg) was going to get used to the diamond press and (the Leopards) are a team that broke their losing streak last year and still remember what it's like. They don't want to give you a win."

The Leopards took care of business quickly to correct the seven-point second quarter. Smithsburg jumped to a 42-26 lead and expended it to 54-35 by the end of the third quarter as Tevis Denton scored 10 of his 14 points.

Apollo Bey added 10 for the Leopards (1-0) while Chris Everitts had 11 to lead Clear Spring.

"Clear Spring is not that bad," Morris said. "They are scrappy. They are going to win some games."

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