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Vinson beats bad ankle, cripples 'Cats

March 05, 2006|By JACK HILL III

CUMBERLAND, Md.

Unfortunately for the Williamsport basketball team, Donavin Vinson only had a bad ankle.

The Allegany senior forward's shooting eye was fine.

Vinson had 25 points and 16 rebounds - despite missing the final five minutes of the first quarter with the sore ankle - to lift the Campers to a 54-46 victory over Williamsport on Saturday for the Maryland Class 1A West region championship at Fort Hill High School.

"Donavin Vinson has been bothered by a sprained ankle all season long," Allegany coach Tedd Eirich said. "Whenever his ankle acts up and he leaves the game, it's not long before he's back in there. He plays through pain. He goes out there and gets his double-double. He is our leader and our energy. We feed off of him."

The Campers fed off Vinson in a big way, especially in the fourth quarter when he collected 12 points and six rebounds.

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"We just couldn't get over that hump," Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray said. "We just couldn't get that one shot to fall or that one stop on defense. Vinson was just too strong for us. They haven't won the region three years in a row by accident, that's for sure."

Williamsport (18-8) took advantage of Vinson's absence in the first quarter, but only managed an 8-7 lead by the end of the periold. The Wildcats were paced by Chad Bikle, who scored six of his 10 points to establish the lead.

Vinson returned to start the second quarter and made up for lost time by scoring nine points to lift Allegany (23-2) to a 24-20 halftime lead.

"Our game plan was to always play defense and, if we get the ball, to run it," Eirich said. "Williamsport's style slowed us down tonight. Our main focus is to get the ball low and if they double-team us, we can kick the ball outside. Our inside game was working well and our outside game wasn't. Luckily, one part of our offense was working well tonight."

The Wildcats' slow style kept the game in reach through the third quarter. Allegany owned a 32-26 lead by controlling the rebounds and limiting Williamsport to one shot on most possessions.

The Campers built a 38-28 lead to start the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats reeled Allegany back in with a flurry to chop the lead to 38-33 with five minutes remaining.

Allegany fired back with an 11-6 run to assume a 49-39 lead with 1:11 remaining. The Wildcats couldn't get closer than six points the rest of the way.

"We played the game at the pace that we wanted," Mowbray said. "We turned the ball over too much. We shot ourselves in the foot in the second half. We came up just a little bit short, but it has been a good season. We were co-champions of the MVAL Antietam Conference."

Williamsport was led by Tyler Beard with 14 points, while Will Taylor had 11 points and five blocks and Phillip Jordan pulled down six rebounds.

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