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Wildcats sweep playoff openers

February 25, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport boys basketball team may have taken a cruise on the river Jordan, but it took them where they wanted to go.

The Wildcats rode Phillip Jordan's 17-point effort in the quarterfinal round of the Maryland Class 1A West, East Sectional Friday night, staying alive with a 65-41 victory over Clear Spring.

The Williamsport girls also advanced, topping Brunswick, 65-48, paced by Morgan Smith's19 points.

Jordan scored nine of his points in the Wildcats' 24-point third period to break open the game. It represented the only segment of the game that satisfied Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray.

"We played one quarter tonight," said Mowbray. "We were sluggish in the first half. In the third quarter, we played for eight minutes and we put it on cruise control in the fourth period."

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Decided underdogs, the Blazers (5-18) stayed within striking distance in the first half - trailing 29-20 at the intermission - with Scott Keeney's 12 first-half points leading the way.

Jordan's inside play sparked the Wildcats' 24-4 run to doom Clear Spring.

"(Williamsport) just turned up the heat," said Blazers coach Don Harnish. "They didn't do anything different than they've done all year. They just have too many shooters and they're disciplined. All we could hope for is that they would not have a good shooting night, and that didn't happen."

The Williamsport girls (9-14) waited until the final eight minutes to take control of the pesky Railroaders (7-16).

Up by five entering the fourth quarter, Smith and Leah Mellott combined for seven straight points in the first 79 seconds and the Wildcats made the best of 24 free throws to keep Brunswick at bay.

"We attacked what they gave us, and played pretty well offensively," said Wildcats coach Chris Malott. "We scored 65 points tonight, and we hadn't been out of the forties in the last three games."

The Wildcats appeared to have control at the half, with a 27-18 advantage. But a 15-11 run in the third period kept things within reach until Smith, and her sister, Lindsey, combined for an 11-4 run to end the game

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