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Wildcats earn 'share' of MVAL Antietam

February 21, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

When Williamsport beat North Hagerstown 2 weeks ago it was considered an upset and the biggest career win for several Wildcats.

When they repeated the feat Monday night, it could hardly be considered an upset, but it still was a high-ranking victory for at least one Wildcat.

"It's the second-best of my life," said Williamsport junior Will Taylor. "The first is the first time we beat them."

Taylor was a bull in the paint and scored 12 tough points to help the Wildcats knock off North 50-43 and earn a share of the MVAL Antietam Conference title with the Hubs.

"Call it a share if you want, but we beat them twice," said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. "One of the goals at the beginning of the season was to set our sights on an MVAL title and we got it."

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As in the first meeting, Williamsport forced North (15-6, 12-2) into a drag-it-out pace, which restricted the Hubs' strength of running the floor to create scoring chances. While picking up the season sweep, the Wildcats (14-7, 12-2) have held the Hubs to their two lowest scoring outputs of the season.

"That's their game. The way they shorten the game you have to score when you have the ball," said Hubs coach Tim McNamee. "We had plenty of opportunites. We even got second and third opportunities on offensive rebounds, but we just have to learn to put the ball in the basket."

North squandered its scoring opportunities at the most inopportune times. The Hubs went scoreless from the field over the final six minutes of the game and scored just six points off free throws.

One of the missed opportunites was an offensive goaltending call on Tyrone Wheeler with 5:19 remaining. Wheeler followed a missed shot with a dunk, but had it waved off when the official ruled the ball was still in the cylinder.

"I thought the dunk call was a turning point because it changed the momentum of the game," McNamee said.

Another turning point that McNamee pointed to was the sequence that occurred with 3:05 left. Williamsport's Tyler Beard tied the score at 42-42 with a mid-range jumper and after the shot fell, North's Tyrell Wilson was whistled for a foul on Taylor. It was Wilson's fifth foul, forcing him out of the game.

Taylor missed the front end of the 1-and-1, but made a pair of free throws on the next Williamsport possession to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 44-42.

After hitting just 4 of 11 free throws over the first 29 minutes, Williamsport went 8-for-8 over the final three to close out the win.

North's final attempts to avoid its first home loss of the season were foiled by its poor shooting. Top scoring threat Dee Mency had 24 points, but failed to make a basket and scored just four points in the fourth quarter. Wilson was the only other consistent scorer for the Hubs, but he had already fouled out with nine points.

"I think they got tired and they just couldn't shoot. Mency had some looks, but didn't shoot the ball well in the fourth quarter," Mowbray said. "Our guys struggled at times, but we did what we had to at the end."

Chad Bikle led the Wildcats with 14 points, while Phil Jordan and Tyler Beard each added 10.

Mency grabbed 13 rebounds and Jarell Rodriguez had five steals for the Hubs.

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