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'Cats, Lions set for Classic final

December 27, 2002|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - Williamsport basketball coach Deron Crawford is putting a twist on the age-old adage of "Defense wins champonships."

It's nice when your offense shows up.

Williamsport struggled for three quarters with a quick Southside Academy Jaguars team before finally showing its strength under the offensive boards to put away a 66-58 win in the semifinal nightcap of the 22nd annual Richard E. Doub Classic on the Wildcats' home floor Thursday night.

The host Wildcats will play Brunswick in the championship game tonight at 8.

Although Williamsport began to pull away from the Jaguars as early as the end of the third quarter, Crawford never felt comfortable.

"Never. I never felt like we were in control at any time tonight," Crawford said. "Southside was very athletic and they gave us some problems, particularly early on.

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"We played good defense, yes. But, hey, we are averaging giving up only 50 points per game and we are 2-3 coming in here."

In fact, the Jaguars (2-4) used an almost frantic style of offense that, at first, frustrated the Wildcats' more disciplined approach to the game.

With Dontay Purnell and Jamaal Jackson proving early they were outside threats, the Wildcats had to spread the defense fairly thin at times.

When that occurred, Southside coach Dana Johnson would work the ball into the physical 6-foot, 255-pound Jarrell Lynn.

The Jaguars raced out to a 15-11 lead, before both teams fell into a shooting funk.

"We have a problem not shooting the ball well from time to time," Crawford said. "But tonight, I thought we attacked their defense quite well in the second quarter."

It couln't have come at a better time. Trailing by four, the Wildcats put together solid play on both ends of the floor.

Nick Adenhart and Josh Foley cooly led the Williamsport offense into a patient passing game as the Wildcats gained the lead and went up 32-27 at the half.

Adenhart finished the game with 20 points while Foley had 18.

Most importantly for the Wildcats was the fact that the momentum carried into the third quarter.

"I thought we came out and made good decisions in the third quarter," Crawford said.

A Josh Bowers jumper put the Wildcats up 48-38 at the end of the period.

Williamsport had begun to win the battle under the boards and would outrebound the more physical Jaguars 41-28, including a whopping 16 offensive rebounds.

"When we gained control under there, we were able to get a little seperation," Crawford said. "We felt that to beat these guys, we needed to limit their looks at the basket. In the last quarter, we did just that."

In the first game, Broadfording overcame a 22-point second-half deficit to come to within six points of Brunswick with just under five minutes remaining before the Railroaders regained their composure to win, 88-71.

Broadfording's Eric Longerbeam had 25 points for the Lions while the Railroaders' Jeremy Hueston had 21.




Williamsport 66 Southside Academy 58


SOUTHSIDE (58)

Purnell 11, Barnes 2, Lynn 9, Johnson 16, Dukes 2, Brader 11, Brown 1. Totals 24 5-12 58.

WILLIAMSPORt (66)

Bowers 8, Jordan 8, Roney 6, Adenhart 20, Foley 18, Hose 2, Martin 2. Totals 23 12-20 66.

Southside 15 12 11 20- 58

Williamsport 11 21 16 18- 66

Three-point goals - W 6 (Bowers 2, Adenhart 2, Foley 2), SA 5 (Purnell 2, Johnson, Brader, Brown).

Brunswick 88 Broadfording 71


BRUNSWICK (88)

Wachter 2, Ault 9, Thompson 3, Carter 5, Hueston 21, Dykes 19, Hickerson 4, Bluemaneur 2, Baker 6, Anderson 17. Totals 31 20-26 88.

BROADFORDING (71)

Berry 14, Bishop 2, Longerbeam 25, Moore 21, Weeks 2, Yeager 2, Myers 5. Totals 25 13-23 71.

Brunswick 16 17 27 28 -88

Broadfording 13 14 12 32 -71

Three-point goals - Brun 6 (Ault 2, Carter, Hueston 2, Dykes), Broad 8 (Berry, Longerbeam 3, Moore 3, Myers).

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