The Panthers (7-14), who managed only 4 of 18 free throws themselves, sent Clear Spring to the line 26 times, a whopping 13 in the last four minutes of the game, before finally wearing down the Blazers, who dressed only five players.
"We were fortunate to win the game with the night we had at the line,'' Hancock coach Kim Horvath said. "We played well in our other phases and it was a lucky thing we did.''
The Panthers' futile free throw efforts did not help the Blazers as much as Hancock's determination to foul. Clear Spring went into the bonus at the 1:45 mark of the first quarter and at 1:05 of the third - but the Blazers hit only 13 of 26 attempts and missed 11 in a row through parts of the second and third quarters.
"Foul shooting was definitely the difference in this game,'' Baker said. "When we did start to hit the shots with some consistency, it was sort of too late.''
Clear Spring's Carrie White went to the line nine times in the final few minutes (canning seven) while Allison Gozora sunk a pair of free throws to bring the Blazers (0-22) to within 40-31. White finished with 15 points, while Gozora had 11.
"We felt that we needed to rebound in there to maintain the lead,'' Horvath said. "Lauren (Younker) and Amanda (True) both did a good job for us under the boards.''
Hancock's Cassie Bingaman and Lauren Younker each made a jumper in the lane and a 3 by Alicia Barnard iced it.
"We ask our team to do three things: play defense, make free throws and rebound,'' Baker said. "Tonight I felt like we played with intensity and desire. We just need to put all three of those things together in one game. Then, things will change for us.''
Hancock 46, C. Spring 34
Bingaman 6, Barnard 10, Thomas 2, True 0, L. Younker 8, A. Younker 6, Sterner 4. Totals 20 4-18 46.
CLEAR SPRING (34)
Yeakle 4, Gozora 11, Mowen 4, White 15. Totals 10 13-26 34.
Hancock 9 14 15 8 - 46
C.Spring 8 9 4 13 - 34
Three point goals - Hancock 2 (Barnard 2), Clear Spring 1 (White). Fouled Out - A. Younker.
JV - Hancock, 36-28.