The momento of the past showed the present Blazers that they had a future. Clear Spring took a big lead early and then scored the final eight points of the game Monday to claim a 60-55 win over Smithsburg.
Clear Spring (2-7) came of age to win its first game against a Monocacy Valley Athletic League team in three years under Hunsberger.
Clear Spring started the maturing process by blitzing Smithsburg 17-8 in the first quarter. The Blazers nursed the lead through three-quarters of the game until crunch-time jitters hit.
"The turning point of the game came when we lost our composure in the fourth quarter and I had the timeouts to take to settle it down," Hunsberger said. "Then we got it back and we got it back."
Smithsburg (5-4) outscored Clear Spring 10-2 to open the fourth quarter to take a 48-47 lead with 4:20 remaining. The two teams battled back and fourth for then next two minutes, but the Leopards used an Apollo Bey 3-pointer from the right wing to grab a 55-52 lead with 2:29 remaining.
It proved to be the Leopards last points of the game.
Justin Michael scored on a drive to the basket as he scored six of Clear Spring's final eight points. He followed by hitting both ends of a 1-and-1 situation to get the Blazers back into a 56-55 lead.
With the lead, Clear Spring went into a four-corner delay to milk the clock. Smithsburg fouled to send Aaron Beard to the line with 1:08 remaining. He missed both shots, but Jeremy Schnebly pulled down the rebound allowing Clear Spring to keep control.
Smithsburg was able to penetrate the Blazers' 2-3 zone, but couldn't finish or follow up.
"We had 18 offensive rebounds and didn't convert a third of them," Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said. "We followed up a 12 of 54 shooting against Walkersville with 20 of 62 tonight. I can't complain about the 18 rebounds, but that's only the first step."
Josh Keyton led Clear Spring with 21 points, including all four of the Blazers' 3-pointers, while Michael added 17. Apollo Bey had 16 points for Smithsburg while Corey Brown finished with 15.
"I can't say enough about these kids," Hunsberger said. "It was time to start clicking on all cylinders and start playing good basketball. We had three kids in double figures, but we played team ball."
Clear Spring 60, Smithsburg 55
CLEAR SPRING (60)
Everitts 10, Hoffman 2, Micheal 17, Keyton 21, Schnebly 5, Beard 5. Totals 27 14-18 60.
Anderson 9, Brown 15, Bey 16, Jones 4, Swope 2, Talbert 9. Totals 20 11-14 55.
Three-point goals - Clear Spring 4 (Keyton 4), Smithsburg 4 (Anderson 2, Jones 2). Fouled out - Anderson.