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Barton delivers early presents to Williamsport

December 21, 1999

Williamsport over WalkersvilleBy DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




WILLIAMSPORT - Chris Barton doesn't exactly fit the profile of a Santa Claus. He'd need to grow a thick white beard, add 80 pounds and wear red and white instead of blue and white for that.

cont. from sports page

But, Santa or no, Barton's offensive rebound and putback with two seconds left provided Williamsport with a big 50-48 victory over Walkersville in an early-season Monocacy Valley Athletic League showdown Monday.

"I said it was an early Christmas present," Barton said. "It just came off the side of the rim, I got it and put it in."

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"The game was dominated by the (6-foot-6) guy (Walkersville's David Croall), and the 5-9 guy hits a layup to win it," Williamsport coach Deron Crawford said.

The play capped a game that saw the Lions (3-2, 3-2) jump out early, only to watch Williamsport (4-1, 3-1) take control in the second half, led by point guard Ryan Grabill.

Walkersville used an 11-0 run in the first quarter for an early 13-5 advantage, keyed by Croall's six points inside. Croall finished with 24 to lead the Lions.

But Williamsport (4-1, 3-1) used runs of 8-2 and 10-3 in the second quarter and was only down 26-24 at the half. They went to a 2-2-1 full court press that increased the tempo and opened up the floor.

"We were a little flat early on," Crawford said. "(Walkersville) was looking for a halfcourt game. We picked the tempo up, and it got us to work harder as we made our run."

The Wildcats took to the perimeter in the third quarter, hitting four 3-pointers - three by Grabill - to counter Walkersville's inside play.

Grabill's first 3 pulled the Wildcats to within one, 30-29. After the Lions' Dustin Dreisonstok hit a jumper, Grabill buried another bomb to tie the game at 32-32.

Croall answered with a basket inside to give Walkersville back the lead, but Barton hit a 3 of his own, and Corey Wolfensberger penetrated the lane for another basket as the Wildcats took a three-point edge.

Corey Hoffman made a move in the lane and scored to bring Walkersville back to within one, 37-36, but Grabill followed with his final 3.

Grabill continued to dictate play in the fourth, hitting four free throws early as Williamsport built its biggest lead, 44-40.

"Ryan's a senior, and he did what a senior does tonight," Crawford said of Grabill's game-high 26 points. He was shooting the ball well ... as Ryan goes, we go."

Inside baskets from Aaron Edgley and Croall tied the game at 44-44, and both teams exchanged baskets in the next two minutes.

Tied at 46-46, Grabill went to the line on a 1-and-1 opportunity with 44 seconds left. He made both for the two-point lead, but Walkersville beat the ensuing press and Croall made a layup 10 seconds later to tie it at 48-48, setting up the final play.

Grabill found Barrett Giles down low, and Giles shot a turnaround in the lane. The ball bounced off the back left of the rim, where Barton grabbed it and put it back for the win.

"It was a big bucket," Crawford said. "Chris needed that."

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