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Campers corral 'Cats with defense

December 08, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport girls basketball team attended a clinic on defense Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they were forced to participate as the guinea pigs.

Allegany came into Williamsport and played hardcore man defense - the kind of defense that lets you know how a Siamese twin feels - as the Campers pressured the Wildcats flat for a 55-27 victory.

"Allegany played defense like it's supposed to be played," said Williamsport coach Chris Malott. "That was a clinic. It was in-your-face defense. I told the girls that's the way we want to be someday."

The Campers (1-0) didn't leave enough room for Williamsport to cast a shadow as Allegany forced 40 turnovers, including 10 in the first quarter before the Wildcats could score their first basket.

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Allegany jumped out to a 13-0 lead before Chrissy Minnick scored with 1:51 remaining in the period to erase the zero.

"We played pretty good defense," Allegany coach Scott Bauer said. "We really moved our feet. That helped us in the first half, especially since we missed a lot of shots early. This was a good win in the first game against a well-coached Williamsport team."

Despite 11 first-quarter turnovers, Williamsport (0-2) still managed to move within 13-9 early in the second quarter. The Wildcats stayed within striking distance at 19-14 when Adrienne Munoz hit a running 5-footer in the lane off a pass from Morgan Smith.

But Allegany's Erin Wilson took over, scoring 22 of her game-high 24 points in the final 17:30 of the game as the Campers put the clamps on Williamsport's offense.

"They didn't stop playing man ... They did it from the first minute to the last," Malott said. "We turned the ball over a lot, but that's because of their defense. They dared you to beat them."

After trailing 23-15 at the half, Williamsport put on one last run. Smith and Munoz hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Wildcats to within 29-24 with 3:44 left in the third quarter. Wilson got Allegany back on track, though, scoring the next seven points - including a 3-pointer out of the corner and a drive down the lane - to re-establish a firm grip on the game.

Wilson's flurry allowed Allegany to score the last 10 points of the quarter and 26 of the last 29 points in the game to close out the victory.

Munoz had nine points and Minnick finished with seven for the Wildcats. Jessica Tichnell had nine for Allegany.

"It was tough, but I loved the fact that we came back and didn't give up in the first half," Malott said. "We showed a lot of heart. You can only come back so many times. We're going to get better. That's the best part of it."

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