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From outside to inside

Indians use power game to beat Blazers

Indians use power game to beat Blazers

December 11, 2004|By BILL STERNER

CLEAR SPRING - The Berkeley Springs and Clear Spring girls basketball squads are teams in transition.

For Berkeley Springs coach Dale McCumbee, this year's team has a distinctly different look than the Indians of the past three seasons.

Gone are backcourt mates Danielle Fox and Amanda Willard, both of whom made the Indians' finesse, perimeter game go.

Enter Heather Shaw and Emily McCoy - and a bruising, physical game in the paint.

The forwards combined for 47 points, all under the boards, as Berkeley Springs outmuscled Clear Spring for a 59-28 victory in the opener for each team.

Even though the result of Friday's game was the same as all of the efforts for the Blazers over the past 3 1/2 seasons, the way Clear Spring played had a decidedly positive look.

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The Blazers showed marked improvement, evidenced by strong first and fourth quarters, in which Clear Spring stayed practically even with the much bigger Tribe.

Unfortunately, Berkeley Springs was able to outscore the Blazers 34-6 in the middle quarters.

"Oh yes indeed, Clear Spring is definitely an improved team," McCumbee said. "They never gave up and you could tell they never felt like they were out of the game."

"We are a young team with no seniors this year," Blazers coach Erin Wadel said. "We are taking baby steps here to learn to walk."

A 5-0 run by the Blazers in the last 30 seconds of the first quarter brought them to within 14-11. Megan Blickenstaff drained the first of her two 3-pointers and Carley Snyder hit a running jumper with just two seconds left.

But the Blazers didn't score again for more than 10 minutes and the Indians took control, running off 22 unanswered points before the Blazers' Leigh Ann Bearden slipped in a layup to end the drought.

"That run really hurt us," Wadel said. "But I'm proud of them for not giving up."

McCoy did most of the harm, scoring 16 straight points to help the Indians take a 48-17 lead at the end of the third quarter.

"I had a good night," McCoy said. "Hopefully as our season goes, everyone will get a chance to have one of these."

"It's great to have another big player under the board," Shaw said. "We definitely have shifted our game from outside to under the boards."

Bearden and Leslie Morgan each had eight points for Clear Spring.

"I feel we learned some things tonight and we have a definite direction to go to improve," Wadel said. "We have a long way to go, but we've come so far already."

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