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Blazers, Indians in final

December 30, 2003|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - Jennifer Willison did a little late holiday shopping picking up a few key items on Monday evening in the Panthers' 42-34 win over the Clear Spring Blazers in the nightcap of the Hancock Holiday Classic.

Willison, Hancock's 6-foot sophomore center, muscled in 17 points and ripped down 23 rebounds to push the Panthers into today's championship game against Berkeley Springs, a 53-45 winner over Southern Fulton in the opening game.

As good as all that was for the Panthers, Willison knew she indeed forgot an important item on any basketball player's list.

"I didn't hit my foul shots," Willison said. "If we are going to win big games, we have to shoot the free ones. I was bad at it tonight."

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In fact, both teams struggled with the free throws. Willison was 5 of 15 while the Panthers were 7 of 23 total for the game.

"It was a physical game inside and I was given lots of chances," Willison said. "I have to relax and make them count."

The Blazers were not much better, tossing in just seven of 17 from the line.

The Panthers scored first a full two minutes into the game. Though they recovered to score 19 points in the second quarter, Hancock would only score 16 points the rest of the game. The Panthers shot a frigid 23 percent from the floor while Clear Spring hit 26 percent.

In the opener, Berkeley Springs used a balanced scoring attack to best Southern Fulton, overcoming a 20-point effort by Candace Bard.

Danielle Fox and Jessica Jenkins dropped in 10 of the last 12 points for Berkeley Springs to put the game away.

It is the second year in a row that Berkeley Springs reach ed the championship game. The Tribe lost to Southern Fulton by four points last year.

"This is a real challenge for us." Indians coach Dale MaCumbee said. "We have never won this tournament and Hancock plays very tough on their floor."

Fox led Berkeley Springs with 14 points while Shaw had 13.

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