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Blazers left feeling Blue

February 21, 2002

Blazers left feeling Blue



By DAN KAUFFMAN
kauffman@herald-mail.com

Mercersburg 42
Clear Spring 32

CLEAR SPRING (32)

Baughman 4, Fockler 4, Yeakle 11, Blair 4, Wolfensburger 4, Shanholtz 5. Totals 13 6-13 32.

MERCERSBURG ACADEMY (42)

Podzimkova 22, Thompson 5, DeMeza 8, Lininger 2, Hogan 3, McCartney 2. Totals 15 12-28 42.

Clear Spring141044-32

Mercersburg126717-42

Fouled Out - Baughman (CS).



MERCERSBURG, Pa. - The theme for Wednesday's girls basketball matchup between Clear Spring and Mercersburg Academy was simple - one team has to win.

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In a battle of previously winless teams, the Blue Storm picked up their defense in the second half, putting the Blazers away with a 19-0 run over a 9 minute, 30 second span for a 42-32 victory that gave Mercersburg a long-awaited notch in the win column.

"It's good for the seniors as they leave, and it's good for the younger kids as we build for next year," Mercersburg coach Karl Muller said. "Someone had to win, and I'm glad it was us."

It was the way the Blue Storm (1-15) won - unleashing a stifling defense, converting Clear Spring turnovers into points and controlling the glass - that left Muller satisfied and Blazers coach Jeff Hall with a sour taste in his mouth.

"We missed our shots, they picked their defense up, and they outplayed us in the second half," Hall said. "Offensively, we scored eight points in the second half. You're not going to win too many games when you score eight points in the second half."

Clear Spring (0-21) used runs of 12-6 at the start of the game and 7-0 at the end of the first half to take a 24-18 halftime lead. Jana Podzimkova (22 points) scored 16 of Mercersburg's 18 points in the half to keep the Blue Storm close.

But it was Podzimkova's teammates that got the Blue Storm over the hump. Clear Spring took a 28-21 lead with 3:49 left in the third quarter after two jumpers went in, but the Blazers did not score another field goal until 30 seconds remained in the game.

Mercersburg allowed no easy shots, and started taking advantage of Clear Spring's 33 turnovers during the decisive second-half run.

"What we talked about at halftime is we had to get a body on them, hit the boards and play defense," Muller said. "(Jana) stepped up in the first half when we needed her, then everyone else did what we needed to in the second half."

Stacey Yeakle led Clear Spring with 11 points, all but two coming in the first half.

"They didn't quit, but it's disappointing for them," Hall said.

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