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Wildcats nearly let one silp away

January 06, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

BOONSBORO - Williamsport boys basketball coach Scott Mowbray will take his team's 60-49 victory over Boonsboro on Friday. He just isn't terribly happy with the way the Wildcats' win came about.

The No. 7 Wildcats (6-2, 2-0) squandered much of a 16-point lead they had built early in the fourth period, allowing the Warriors to close to six points before putting them away and pulling into a first-place tie with North Hagerstown in the MVAL Antietam.

"We had 20 turnovers, eight in the fourth quarter when our decision-making went south," said Mowbray. "We played well offensively and we did a better job on defense down low in the middle two quarters."

And those middle quarters were the difference in the contest.

The Warriors (4-3, 1-1) broke away from a 5-5 tie with nine straight points on the way to a 20-15 lead at the end of one quarter. Only a 7-for-8 effort at the line kept Williamsport close as Boonsboro began to roll up some potential foul problems.

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"I thought we matched (Williamsport) aggressiveness at both ends of the floor," said Boonsboro coach Sam Connelly. "In the first quarter, we outhustled them. (Mike) DeBarge and (Chris) Selby are our two best basketball athletes and they played well."

But both got into foul trouble and Williamsport used a defense that effectively switched off screens and forced the Warriors into tough shots. Boonsboro went 0-for-9 from the floor in the second quarter, getting its only points on two free throws by Matt Wetzel as the Wildcats pulled in front for a 27-22 halftime lead.

Williamsport led 34-27 when Selby picked up his fourth personal at the 4:47 mark of the third quarter. DeBarge picked up his fourth foul shortly thereafter, leading to a Chad Poffenberger three-point play that helped the Wildcats to a 44-30 lead after three. Adam Flook also picked up his fourth foul before the quarter ended.

"We only go seven deep on the bench so we were hurt with DeBarge and Selby out," said Connelly.

The Warriors already were missing Josh Miller, who was out with a broken finger.

Will Taylor hit a putback and Poffenberger followed with two free throws in the first 20 seconds of the fourth to give the Wildcats their 16-point lead.

Selby fouled out with just under 6 minutes left, but the Warriors plugged away and got the deficit down to 52-44 with 2:18 to go before DeBarge fouled out.

The Warriors began fouling to stop the clock, but the Wildcats took advantage, hitting 12 free throws down the stretch, including Poffenberger's 6-for-6 effort.

"We just flat out didn't take care of the basketball in the fourth quarter," said Mowbray. "We're up by 16 and still in a hurry. We need to recognize when it's time to slow down and take care of things."

Taylor pulled down 15 rebounds to go along with his game-high 17 points.

Sean Dixon had a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards. Poffenberger scored 14 and Chad Bikle had 13.

Flook led Boonsboro with 14 points, but endured a tough shooting night, hitting only 4 of 17. DeBarge added 10 points and Selby had nine. Brad Rohrer had nine rebounds.

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