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Williamsport girls work wonders, stop Hancock

February 28, 2001

Williamsport girls work wonders, stop Hancock



By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Becky Pulieri gets the squeezeWILLIAMSPORT - The difference between the Hancock and Williamsport girls basketball teams wasn't apparent in the 12 minutes of their Class 1A West quarterfinal game Tuesday night - then Brooke Weimer stepped onto the floor.

The Wildcats only held a six-point lead midway through the second quarter, but turned on the jets behind their all-everything point guard, racing to a 62-27 victory to set up a Thursday semifinal showdown with Allegany.

Only 11 seconds into the game, Weimer went high for a rebound under the offensive board and crashed frightenly to the floor on the back of her neck. She was attended to by medical personnel and left the floor after a few minutes.

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The senior sat out the entire first quarter and, to make matters worse, teammate Sara Taylor picked up three fouls in the first quarter and was also on the bench.

It all led to only a 15-9 Williamsport lead with 3:32 left in the half.

"We were a little shaken by Brooke's fall," Wildcats coach Curtis Graff said. "Your best player goes down early, we get into foul trouble ... you have a tendency to play a little frenetic."

Weimer got her first points on two free throws at that point, and Williamsport (18-6) was off and running. Hancock's lead - 9-8 after one quarter - never resurfaced.

"They definitely weren't the same team when (Weimer) was out of there," Hancock coach Kim Horvath said. "I wish we could have taken better advantage of it, but they played some very good defense."

Very good defense, indeed. Williamsport outscored the Panthers 46-9 over the middle quarters, using its full-court press to let fans go from watching the game to scrambling for a Duke-Maryland score.

"Our defense wore them out," Graff said. "Our kids know defense is an important part of our game. It is a way to win championships."

Lacey McCusker had 15 points to lead Hancock (6-16).

"I'm proud of how we came out hustling and playing with a purpose," Horvath said. "Everyone was telling us what a long shot it was, but our team didn't play like it."

Jess Ross had 14 points and Taylor finished with 11 for Williamsport. That Wildcats have all their players intact after a physical game that included 46 fouls was enough solace for them.

"We really don't want to go through that situation again with two starters on the bench," Graff said. "But even so, we had stretches where we worked well in spite of that."

Williamsport 62, Hancock 27



HANCOCK (27)

McCusker 15, Norris 5, Sterner 2, Bingaman 2, Younker 2, Pittman 1. Totals 8 11-19 27.

WILLIAMSPORT (62)

Weimer 19, Ross 14, Taylor 11, Plotner 7, Smiles 3, Miller 2, Sullivan 2, Pulieri 2, Sanders 1, Clingan 1. Totals 21 18-33 62.

Hancock9639-27

Williamsport8212310-62

Three-point goals-Williamsport 2 (Weimer 2). Fouled out-Younker. Technical-Hancock coach Horvath.

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