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Willison sparks Hancock with strong 2nd half

January 05, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - Jennifer Willison had a difficult time getting her hands on the basketball for the first 16 minutes.

But the Hancock senior made up for lost time in the second half, scoring 12 of her game-high 16 points in the Panthers' 52-38 victory over rival Clear Spring on Wednesday night.

"In the first half, (the Blazers) were double-teaming her and sagging when we dribble-penetrated," Hancock coach Rocky Wills said. "In the second half, they weren't sagging off as much and we were able to dump it down in to her."

Trailing only 18-17 entering the third quarter, Clear Spring (1-7) managed to stay close despite a 6-0 Hancock run to open the second half. Kayla McCarty and Emily Steinacker drained back-to-back 3-pointers late in the quarter to pull within 30-27, but Kaley Jenkins hit a pair of free throws with just eight seconds left to extend Hancock's lead to five points.

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It didn't take long for the Panthers (2-5) to pull away in the fourth quarter as Willison and Kris Creek led an 11-5 run to secure the win.

"We needed to play with intensity, and we needed to shut down Willison (to win)," said Blazers coach Erin Wadel. "Their team feeds off of her. I thought we did a fairly decent job, but we got lazy (defensively) and she started hitting her shots. We were very sluggish in the second half."

After falling behind 8-2 early, Clear Spring reeled off a 12-3 run for a three-point advantage. The rally was sparked by Carley Snyder, who scored seven in the rally, and finished with 15 points to pace the Blazers.

But Hancock responded with a 7-0 run to establish a lead it would not relinquish.

Of the Panthers' 52 points, Willison (16), Creek (15) and Jenkins (14) scored all but seven.

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