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'Cats scratch fevered play to beat BCA

December 27, 2003|by CURT HORNBECKER

WILLIAMSPORT - It's a little frightening to think about what might have been had Williamsport's boys basketball team played up to its potential.

Coach Deron Crawford was quick to point out that the Wildcats' 87-32 drubbing of Broadfording Christian Academy in the opening round of the 23rd annual Richard E. Doub Classic was not their best effort of the year. From the way Crawford was talking it wasn't even close.

"I thought we were really sluggish, particularly in the first half," said Crawford. "We got a little bit lazy defensively and defense should be one of our strong points. We picked it up in the second half, but we've played better. We've played with more intensity."

The Wildcats (5-1) will not be able to afford that luxury tonight when they face Class 3A Frederick Douglass of Prince George's County, 79-59 winners over Beall in the preliminary match-up.

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"They are super quick and super athletic and they have good size," said Crawford of the Eagles. "The (Monocacy Valley Athletic League) has some talented teams, but the MVAL doesn't have a team as good as Frederick Douglass. It'll be a good test for us."

Broadfording (3-3) certainly had more than it could handle against the Wildcats, falling behind 18-8 after the first eight minutes. Will Roney took control early, scoring 11 of his game-high 25 points in the opening period. The Williamsport senior used slashing moves to the hoop and took advantage of several fast break opportunities to start the onslaught early.

"We knew we were probably a little more athletic than they were and we wanted to take advantage of that," Roney said.

The 10-point first-quarter margin ballooned to 22 points at the intermission as the Wildcats reeled off the final 10 points of the half, including eight of the fast break variety. The Lions turned the ball over nine times in the second quarter to aid the Williamsport cause.

"I think the kids are still on Christmas break," said BCA coach Paddy Mowen. "We tried to get them fired up, but they played like they didn't want to compete. It was a sad night. We're a much better team than this."

The Lions committed 25 turnover - in part the result of Williamsport's pressure defense - and hit just 14 of 58 field goals (24 percent) in the game.

"I'm surprised they didn't press us more," said Mowen. "We just didn't execute. We got rebound after rebound, but couldn't get the ball in the basket. (The Wildcats) were beating us back on defense and getting easy layups."

It went from bad to worse for Broadfording at the outset of the second half, as the Wildcats outscored the Lions 27-4 with Roney's 9 points doing much of the damage. Josh Bishop's two successive three-points at the end of period pulled the Lions to within 69-31 entering the final eight minutes.

BCA failed to hit a field goal in the fourth quarter, as Williamsport finished the game with an 18-1 run. Phillip Jordan and Corey Broadwater added 14 points apiece in the game for the Wildcats.

In the opener, Frederick Douglass (3-3) used its superior quickness to easily advance to tonight's final. The Eagles, spearheaded by sophomores Mike Lewis (22 points) and Marcus Melvin (17 points), sprinted to a 19-point halftime lead after outscoring Beall (2-4) 27-15 in the second period.

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