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Wildcats stay calm to turn away Rebels

February 08, 2006|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Up only by a single point against South Hagerstown after three quarters, Williamsport's boys basketball team did not panic.

The Wildcats kept their composure and outscored the Rebels 17-8 in the fourth quarter for a 54-44 win Tuesday night in an MVAL Antietam contest.

Williamsport (11-5, 9-1) has won nine of its last 10 games. South (4-13, 3-8) had a three-game winning streak snapped.

After a few lead changes to start the fourth, the score was tied at 40-40 with about 6:30 to play. The Wildcats outscored the Rebels 14-4 the rest of the way, including an 8-0 burst to start, to seal the victory.

Williamsport took the lead at 42-40 with 6:01 remaining when senior Phillip Jordan scored on a layup.

It stayed that way for nearly four minutes as the Wildcats took the air out of the ball.

"We did what we had to do to win," Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray said. "They used a triangle-and-two defense against us. At times, we chose to attack it. At times, we chose to hold the ball."

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Williamsport junior Chad Bikle scored six of his nine fourth-quarter points during the spurt. Bikle's last basket made it 50-42 with 44 seconds left.

"Tim Alexander hit me with a great pass for a layup that put us up by eight," Bikle said. "In the fourth quarter, we were just trying to relax. We tried not to get excited and turn the ball over. Our guards did a nice job of not turning the ball over tonight. Coach told us that defense would be the key and that would carry us through."

Bikle and Jordan shared game-high scoring honors with 17 points each for Williamsport. Jordan added nine rebounds. Tim Alexander had five assists and four steals and Tyler Beard made five steals.

Williamsport sank 15 of 21 foul shots, including 6 of 8 in the fourth.

"Our guys never panicked tonight," Mowbray said. "They held their composure throughout the game and I am proud of them for doing that."

Marshall Connor had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Dominique Byrd added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Rebels.

"Our two team goals were to continue to play smart basketball like we have been in the last five games and show everybody that we are not as bad as what we were when we lost by 33 points at Williamsport during the first meeting," South coach Dennis Seman said. "I think as a team we outrebounded them. But we got careless with the ball in the second half and that caused us to make a lot of turnovers."

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