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Blazers boys advance

March 03, 2003|by JACK HILL III

CLEAR SPRING - Junior point guard Cody Beard finished with 24 points, including six 3-pointers, to help the Clear Spring Blazers defeat the Beall Mountaineers 71-60 on Saturday afternoon in a Maryland Class 1A West first round boys basketball playoff game.

Clear Spring (10-12) will play at third-seeded South Hagerstown on Monday night at 7 in the region quarterfinals.

"I was just on," Beard said. "I was just feeling it in the third quarter. I was in a drought in the middle of the season. I am just starting to get my shot back now and it feels real nice. We came together overall as a team. We got a lot of rebounds and made some clutch foul shots. We are starting to work together better. We have good momentum going into the rest of the playoffs."

Clear Spring was only on top by a narrow 36-34 margin over Beall (8-14) with 5:15 remaining in the third quarter. The Blazers then outscored the Mountaineers 9-1 during the next two minutes to increase their advantage to 45-35. All nine of the Blazers' points during that time span came on a trio of 3-pointers by Beard.

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Beard also contributed five assists.

"Cody Beard was hitting all of those threes and that was a big part of our victory," Clear Spring coach Don Harnish said. "That gave us a boost when they were starting to come back. He buried those threes at the right time. We did a good job of rebounding. We basically held them to just one shot. Each time they had a run, then we had a run."

Senior forward Will Worthington collected 15 points and 11 rebounds, while 6-foot-5 sophomore center Alex Tyler added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Blazers.

Mahlon Harper scored 21 points, Brady Engle added 14 points and four three-pointers and Ryan Harris had eight rebounds for Beall.

In the girls first round playoff game, the Westmar Wildcats (7-10) got a 60-24 win over the Clear Spring Blazers (0-20).

Amanda Ziler got 13 points and five steals, while Marcie Sloan added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Westmar. Brooke Raines grabbed 11 rebounds for the Wildcats.

Freshman guard Megan Blickenstaff scored 10 points and junior point guard Tawnya Blair added nine points for the Blazers.

"Our girls never gave up," Clear Spring coach Jeff Hall said. "We dug and scratched to the end. It was a fun season for the girls."

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