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Panthers lose Newton, then game

January 17, 2003|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - Hancock boys basketball coach Jeff Spielman believes that if it's broken, then you fix it. But after Thursday's loss to Clear Spring, he must be wondering what happens when you don't have enough tools.

Clear Spring took full advantage of its superior strength inside and the late lineup scratch of Hancock point guard Jeremy Newton to come away with a convincing 68-42 win.

The Blazers (4-6) scored 40 points inside on Hancock (5-6) and put 10 players in the scorebook while doing so.

"Everything and anything that could go wrong tonight did," Spielman said. "We were already short one guard and then to lose Jeremy before we played a minute ... But not having Newton didn't mean we couldn't rebound or play defense."

Newton, the Panthers' prolific senior point guard, had an allergic reaction that required medical attention as Hancock dressed for the game. He was unable to play as a result.

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The Panthers also lost senior shooting guard John Poffenberger for most of the final three quarters while nursing four fouls.

However, Hancock stayed close until late in the second quarter, when the Blazers opened up a 29-19 lead.

"It is easy to play to the level of the team you face when things are going wrong," Blazers coach Don Harnish said. "We didn't tonight."

But the Blazers did struggle early on, as Spielman packed the Panthers in a 2-3 zone that puzzled Clear Spring. The Blazers turned the ball over 14 times in the first half, but the Panthers found it difficult to capitilize on the success of the zone.

"I told our guys that the best way to get a team out of the zone is to build a 10- or 15 point-lead on them," Harnish said. "I guess Will (Worthington) and Alex (Tyler) took me at my word."

Worthington and Tyler started dominating the paint at both ends of the floor. By the end of the third quarter, the pair had muscled Clear Spring to a 51-28 lead.

Worthington finished with 12 points and 10 boards, while Tyler had 12 points and eight rebounds.

"They were so much bigger than us inside," Spielman said. "Once we were playing catchup, our whole offensive philosophy had to change."

"I told our kids that Hancock is a scrappy team that will not quit," Harnish said. "Even losing their point guard, those kids played hard."

Clear Spring 68, Hancock 42

CLEAR SPRING (68)

Jacobs 2, Beard 3, Turner 8, Shrimer 5, Synder 5, Laws 6, Tyler 12, Worthington 12, Reed 9, Yost 4. Totals 30 7-16 68.

HANCOCK (42)

Sterner 2, J. Hendershot 2, Spielman 10, Flowers 14, Poffenberger 7, Willison 9. Totals 13 13-19 42.

Clear Spring 12 17 22 17 - 68

Hancock 10 9 9 14 - 42

Three-point goals - Hancock 3 (Spielman 3), Clear Spring 1 (Shrimer). Technical Foul - Saloom (CS). JV - Hancock, 55-36 (H: Andy Morris 14).

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