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Leopards spot win over Wildcats

January 18, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Coaches love watching their players go to the free throw line and put points on the scoreboard with the clock stopped.

So it stands to reason that Smithsburg's Eric Gerber was a very happy coach as he watched senior Andrew Bohan sink three pressure free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining to give the Leopards a 57-56 MVAL Antietam victory over Williamsport on Tuesday night.

"(Andrew) has made so many clutch shots in different ways for us this year," said Gerber. "I really thought he wanted this game tonight."

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Williamsport took a 56-54 lead with 12 seconds remaining when Tim Alexander drained a shot from the left wing for the lead shortly after teammate Will Taylor converted one of two free throws to knot the score, 54-54.

Smithsburg put its hopes on Bohan's shoulders, and with an open opportunity from the left wing, he let loose a shot that was contested by Williamsport's Ted Dyson, who was whistled for making contact with Bohan.

"I really think the difference was we did a decent job rebounding," said Gerber. "Andrew (Bentley) and Tyler (King) each had nine rebounds and for guys 6-foot-1, they battle inside."

Trailing 51-42, the Wildcats found some spring in their step when Smithsburg's Chris Brown was whistled for a technical foul with 2:27 remaining in the game. The Wildcats got back into the game on two free throws each by Alexander and Taylor and were down by only five points, 53-48.

Tyler Beard hit a 3-pointer for the 'Cats and Jordan dropped in a 10-footer in the paint to tie the game, 53-53. Smithsburg regained the lead by one as Bohan hit one of two free throws.

"Obviously we didn't make free throws and that hurt us early," said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. "But we really weren't in any offensive flow at all. We didn't have any patience and didn't make good decisions when we had the chance to control the game."

Williamsport's most efficient part of the game came early in the third period. Down 30-24, the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run spurred on by Chad Bikle's five points.

However, missed opportunities at the line (0-for-4) and two turnovers enabled the Leopards to get back to a 38-38 tie after three quarters.

While Bohan's 21 points, including 12 of 13 at the line, and the efforts by King and Bentley on the boards were big for Smithsburg, Gerber thought the play of 5-11 junior Andre Hardy was vital.

Hardy, who has been injured most of the season, scored just six points, but his defensive pressure played havoc with the Wildcats at times.

"Andre came in and there is no doubt he gave us a defensive lift," said Gerber.

Beard finished with 17 points for Williamsport, hitting four shots beyond the arc. Alexander finished with 14 and Jordan had 13.

"We did not disrupt their offense and I thought (Smithsburg) took some things away from us," said Mowbray. "We had played well recently and had good practices. (Monday) we did not have a good practice and it showed tonight."

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