Panthers stay hot

February 07, 2002

Panthers stay hot

By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

Hancock 58, Clear Spring 49

Clear Spring (49)

J. Everitts 11, C. Everitts 10, Gladhill 11, Worthington 11, Reed 4, Ward 2. Totals 12 11-13 49.

Hancock (58)

Newton 7, Robair 12, Wills 16, Poffenberger 7, Fling 16. Totals 16 20-23 58.

Clear Spring12101215-49

Hancock1112 926-58

Three-point goals - Hancock 6 (Robair 4, Newton 2), Clear Spring 3 (C.Everitts 2, Gladhill).

HANCOCK - That warm blast of air coming from the top of Blue Hill in Hancock Wednesday night wasn't a tropical breeze.


No, it was the red-hot Hancock Panthers shooting the lights out on yet another team down the stretch run toward the playoffs.

Hancock was 14 of 15 from the free throw line in the final four minutes to hang on for a 58-49 victory over the Clear Spring Blazers.

Chris Wills hit 10 straight free throws down the stretch as the Panthers (12-5) won for the eighth time in nine games.

"My coaches told our kids that a good team will find a way to come out on top," Hancock coach Jeff Spielman said. "I guess we did."

The Blazers (4-14) opened with an aggressive, attacking offense that relied heavily on the guard play of brothers Chris and Jeremy Everitts, who combined for 21 points.

Clear Spring never trailed by more than four points in the first 27 minutes of the game, but the Panthers' Chris Robair and Jeremy Newton hit 3-pointers with less than five minutes remaining to push Hancock's lead to 42-36.

Chris Everitts responded with a 3 for the Blazers, but a three-point play by Hancock's John Poffenberger forced the Blazers to foul in order to get the ball back.

"We wanted to foul Poffenberger and Newton," Clear Spring coach Don Harnish said. "I mean, who do you pick? I think as a team, Hancock had only missed two free throws to that point."

Unfortunately for the Blazers, Hancock missed just one more after that point.

Hancock's Brandon Fling and Clear Spring's Will Worthington engaged each other in a ferocious battle for rebounds and shots under the boards for most of the game. Fling finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds and 11 blocked shots.

Worthington more than held his own with 11 points, seven blocks and 12 rebounds.

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