Blazers - Where there's a will, there's a way

February 15, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

Even though it has been 10 days since the Clear Spring girls basketball team defeated St. Maria Goretti to snap its 84-game losing streak, and the Blazers have since taken on two defeats, there is never a late time to reflect on the termination of such a streak, good or bad.

Prior to their game with South Hagerstown one week ago tonight, which was three days removed from the big win, Clear Spring head coach Erin Wadel reflected on the victory.

"The girls have always had a will to win basketball games," Wadel said. "There were more smiles after the win, but they've always been a group that has pretty much the same attitude."


Wadel, who went through the trials and tribulations of a winless season in her coaching debut at Clear Spring last year and has no seniors on this year's team, said the victory feeling against Goretti was beginning to run through the Clear Spring bench "halfway through the fourth quarter. We were down 28-26 and then got the lead and dominated."

The Blazers aren't a girls basketball machine like the Bishop McNamaras, the Good Counsels or the Notre Dame Academies of the world. Not many teams are.

Wadel, when she took over the program, said she had to start from the beginning, and that meant spending time on the basic fundamentals of basketball.

The Blazers aren't a team that is going to run consistent plays, set physical picks or dominate the backboards. They won't, however, lack for spirit and hustle and the will to win, as Wadel said.

"To this day, we are still working on fundamentals," Wadel said. "It takes time. We still have to work on shooting techniques and all of that comes with practice."

It all eventually comes with the will to win.

Not good at the top

Call it the "Nightmare on Poll Street."

The top of The Herald-Mail boys basketball poll is ripe for change this week.

Last Tuesday, No. 1 Thomas Johnson and No. 2 Hedgesville each went down, but even with each losing, the positions remained status quo through the current rankings.

Then, TJ and Hedgesville both lost again Friday night and TJ goes down one game further with a loss Saturday to Mercersburg Academy.

Is the No. 1 spot in the H-M poll becoming a hot potato? Or, is there a sign of parity out on the hardwoods?

Kinda looks like Jefferson might be a potential choice to assume the top rung on the ladder. St. Maria Goretti might have been able to leapfrog from fourth, but the Gaels took back-to-back losses to Archbishop Spalding on the chin and a loss to St. Frances Academy.

But really, Jefferson?

Bob Starkey, as personable as ever before and after the battle Friday against Hedgesville, can't be ignored as the prime ingredient turning around the lethargic Jefferson program.

Who would have thought? But really, will the new No. 1, if there is one, look at its ascension as a hot potato, or even the Sports Illustrated jinx?

A few more losses, and that includes those in the girls prep poll, and we might as well throw the name of the schools, numbered, into a hat and draw the names.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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