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Clear Spring sweeps Hancock

February 11, 2000|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - Hancock basketball coach Jeff Spielman stared intently at the rim on the west end of the gymnasium.

He shook his head as he left the floor moments after the Clear Spring Blazers held on to defeat the Panthers 53-52 before a packed senior night crowd Friday night.

He was probably wondering what happened to the imaginary lid on that rim that had denied the Panthers in the first half, but was wide open for the Blazers at a most inopportune time.

Just before the first half ended, Hancock took no less than a dozen point blank shots at that basket only to come away down by 11 points.

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The Blazers' Jeremy Schnebley found the mark and hushed an emotional crowd with a 10-footer from the key with 10 seconds to go that gave the Blazers the win.

"Full of emotion,'' Clear Spring coach Daryl Hunsberger said. "We hung together and believed we could get it done.''

The Blazers did get it done, especially in the first half as Justin Michael and Josh Keyton kept the undermanned Panthers, who only dressed six players, running most of the time.

Hancock, using a stellar passing offense and some flashy court play by guard Jake Pittman, fought back to twice tie the game.

But a 13-2 run, and some uncanny missed shots by the Panthers in the last few minutes, propelled the Blazers to an 31-20 lead.

"Really, I thought we were still okay even being down by 11,'' Spielman said. "We are happy with how hard our kids played after the break.''

The Panthers made short work of the Blazers' lead, coming to within 39-37 at the end of the third quarter. Sophomore center Brandon Fling and forward Spencer Shives outhustled and outmuscled Clear Spring for most of that quarter.

"We had a bad stretch there, but we have to learn to play through those times if we want to win consistently,'' Hunsberger said. "But we felt we could make some mistakes and still play tough enough to win.''

"We did some things better in that half,'' Spielman said. "Our shot selection definitely improved.''

Especially for junior guard Danny Keefer. Keefer, who had two points at halftime, tossed in 13 in the second half.

And with the game tied at 51-51 with 20 seconds left, Keefer spotted the Panthers a short-lived lead from the foul line.

"We knew we had enough time,'' Hunsberger said. "We wanted to get Keyton open on the left - really the last thing we imagined was Schnebley shooting in the lane.''

Then, as another cheer erupted from the Blazers lockerroom, Hunsberger simply smiled and said.

"But we'll take it.''

 

Clear Spring 53, Hancock 52




CLEAR SPRING (53)

Everitts 4, Haupt 3, Michael 18, Keyton 10, Schnebley 8, Basore 6. Totals 22 6-13 53.

HANCOCK (52)

Keefer 15, Pittman 6, Fling 9, Shives 16, Royer 6. Totals 19 12-25 52.

Clear Spring1417814-53

Hancock1191715-52

Three-point goals - Hancock 2 (Keefer, Pittman), Clear Spring 3 (Michael 2, Haupt). Fouled out - Hancock: Murphy, Royer.

JV - Clear Spring, 53-40 (Hancock's Chris Wills had 19 points).

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