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Panthers' run clubs Warriors

December 22, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - A quick three-minute span must have seemed like an eternity for Boonsboro. It certainly was fun for Hancock.

Tied 28-28 with 2:55 remaining in the first half, Hancock went on a 9-2 run before halftime and then came storming out of the locker room to open the third quarter with a 12-0 run.

A hammer had just been used by the Panthers, who went on to down Boonsboro 66-50 on Tuesday night for their third win of the young season over a Monocacy Valley Athletic League opponent.

Boonsboro (1-4) withstood an early 14-point production by Hancock's burly 6-foot-6, 260-pound senior Jeff Willison and held a 24-20 lead after back-to-back baskets by Mike DeBarge.

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Hancock's Dylan Shives broke the tie with a hoop and Brad Spielman followed with four free throws, and the Panthers (4-1) held the upper hand at the break.

"We didn't have our defensive intensity early," said Hancock coach Jeff Spielman. "(Boonsboro) played well early and shot well and that got them into the game. We knew at halftime what we had to do coming out in the third quarter."

Willison hit three baskets, Alex Younker hit two goals and Dustin Jenkins added another and the Panthers had dropped the hammer on Boonsboro for a 49-30 lead at the 4:52 mark.

"These kids all play ball together during the summer and our kids knew Boonsboro lost a lot of seniors from last year and we probably took them too lightly at the beginning," Spielman said.

Willison, about 15 pounds lighter than during football season, said he and his teammates "came here expecting (Boonsboro) to roll over. They were tougher than we thought."

With the game purely in the hands of the Panthers, Willison got a deserved break by not playing the fourth period, ending with 24 points on 12 of 19 shooting from the floor and a game-high 15 rebounds as Hancock won the board battle, 39-33.

Hanock shot well as a team, hitting 26 of 48 inside the arc to offset a 1-for-9 3-point effort. Brad Spielman contributed 12 points and Shives, the lone junior seeing considerable playing time for the Panthers, scored 10 points.

"We're tied 28-28 and all the smart decisions we were making against their zone got away from us," said Boonsboro coach Sam Connelly.

"We knew they would play zone and we worked our game plan and then lost our intensity."

The Warriors were guilty of a season-low 15 turnovers, but several were at critical times and the Panthers converted at critical junctures.

"We're going to see more big guys in the league like Willison so we've got to learn to play against them," Connelly said.

DeBarge had nine points and Travis Johnson and Matt Byers each had eight for Boonsboro, which had 10 players score and shot 19 of 53 from the floor.

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