Williamsport quick to slow Hancock's speed

December 13, 2003|by CURT HORNBECKER

HANCOCK - Jeff Spielman might be right.

The Hancock boys basketball coach felt like his team had a slight edge in quickness over Williamsport. The problem is, his club doesn't know how to use it.

The Wildcats, on the other hand, used it's defensive quickness to force 30 turnovers and cruise to a 63-47 victory Friday night in its opener.

"I actually think we're a little quicker than (Williamsport)," said Spielman. "We just haven't figured out how to take advantage of it. I think our inability to attack and do the things we need to do made them look quicker."


After Hancock scored the first four points of the game, Williamsport reeled of 31 of the next 42 points to take a 31-15 edge at the half. The Wildcats' trapping defense forced 16 first-half turnovers, and when the Panthers did managed to get off a shot, it rarely found the bottom of the net.

Hampered by illness, the Wildcats got offensive contributions from numerous sources. Junior Corey Broadwater scored six of his eight points in the opening quarter to spark Williamsport to a 15-8 edge.

John Hose took over with all six of his points in the second period, before Will Roney provided the third-period spark with six of his 23 points. The Wildcats' advantage ballooned to 24 points midway through the third period, but five points from Dustin Jenkins allowed the Panthers to settle for a 20-point deficit entering the final eight minutes.

"We wanted to have more possessions than they did," Williamsport coach Deron Crawford said. "We wanted to use some of our quickness to force them to turn the ball over. We forced them into taking some tough shots; shots they otherwise wouldn't have taken."

Hancock hit just 10 of 35 field goals through the first three periods, including numerous off-balance attempts, while the Wildcats drained 18 of 36 shots.

Hancock used some defensive pressure of its own - and the hot shooting of Brad Spielman - in an effort to dig itself out of the hole, forcing eight Wildcats turnovers and closing the gap to 11 points with more than four minutes left.

But Williamsport staved off the rally behind seven more points from Roney and five from David Warrenfeltz.

"Basketball is a game of runs," Crawford said. "We needed to answer their run and I think we did that."

Meanwhile, the Hancock coach may have been second-guessing himself.

"If I had known their guards would be as good as we expected, we probably would have pressed them earlier," Spielman said. "The problem is our bench. We don't have the depth they have."

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