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Hancock wins on last-second shot

January 29, 2002

Hancock wins on last-second shot



By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

BERKELEY SPRINGS (62)

Omps 27, Gigliotti 7, Bosely 5, Burch 18,

Ruckman 5. Totals 22 8-14 62.

HANCOCK (63)

Newton 8, Martinez 2, Robair 20, Demory 1, Wills 13, Poffenberger 6, Fling 13. Totals 23 8-12 63.

Berkeley Springs10221713-62

Hancock12221712-63

Three point goals - Berkeley Springs 10 (Omps 7, Burch 2, Gigliotti). Hancock 9 (Robair 6, Wills 2, Newton).

JV - Hancock, 58-54.



HANCOCK - This was to be Brandon Fling's night.

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Hancock's 6-foot-5 senior center needed just thre baskets against rival Berkeley Springs to eclipse the magic 1,000 point mark for his career and own a piece of school history that only four players before him had attained.

continued

As it turned out, the overflow crowd got much more for which than it bargained.

Hancock's Chris Robair grabbed a tipped rebound and dropped it through the basket with .7 seconds remaining as the Panthers stunned Berkeley Springs 63-62 Monday night.

The improbable shot propelled Hancock to win No. 10 on the heels of their huge upset over Southern Fulton last Friday.

Oh yeah, and Fling got his 1,000th point.

"I am so glad for Chris," Fling said in the happy Hancock lockerroom.

"Today grinded at my nerves. Everyone told me they were coming to the game tonight and I was so nervous. I'm glad the attention is on someone else."

There was plenty of attention to go around as the Panthers, who seemingly improve game by game, beat yet another opponent that appeared more athletic. Robair, a slightly built 5-9 guard, rushed the basket, out leaping four other players that dwarfed him by several inches.

"The ball actually went through Brandon's hands and tipped off of a Berkeley player," Robair said. "I couldn't see the time, but I just hoped I wouldn't hear the buzzer until that ball left my hands."

"That was a clutch shot by Chris Robair, but that play started with Chris Wills who was able to push the ball down the floor with only six seconds left," Hancock coach Jeff Spielman said. "These kids are winning and their fundamentals are carrying them."

In fact, Hancock is winning without gimmicks. There were no highlight reel performances. The Panthers stuck to the basics throughout the game: rebounding, sticky defense, timely shooting and contributions from every position and every player who logged any significant minutes.

"Hancock is a good, solid ballclub," Berkeley Springs coach Kent Shock said. "Of course we are disappointed - we are making a habit of losing these close games, but I thought both teams played their hearts out."

And how.

The Indians left it all on the floor, actually overcoming a nine point Panther lead with just under four minutes to go to teeter on the verge of winning. Overshadowed by the hoopla of Fling's achievement and Robair's last-second heroics was the fact that the Indians hit 10 three pointers in the game, seven by guard Andy Omps. Omps, who led all scorers with 27 points and had the uncanny knack of keeping the Indians close all night.

But the Panthers stayed close, even when the Indians got two chances to put the game away at the foul line in the last 15 seconds of the game.

"We maintained our composure," Spielman said. "These guys believe they can win no matter how hopeless it appears."

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