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'Cats hold off Rebels

February 07, 2007|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport boys basketball team almost let its MVAL Antietam game against South Hagerstown get away Tuesday night.

Almost.

After watching a 16-point lead get chopped down to only one, the No. 6 Wildcats scored the final six points of the game to get past the Rebels, 53-46.

Chad Bikle made the first of his two foul shots for Williamsport (13-4, 9-1) with 33 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to up the lead to two points. When Bikle missed the second foul shot, Sean Dixon grabbed the offensive rebound and put the ball in the basket while being fouled on the play. Dixon made the foul shot to complete the three-point play to extend the Wildcats' lead to 51-46 with 32 seconds to go.

Dixon, a 6-foot-4 power forward, converted two more free throws with 13 seconds left to give Williamsport a 53-46 advantage. Dixon then made a steal with one second remaining to seal the win for the Wildcats.

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"It was a great character check for our guys after the tough loss on Friday at North Hagerstown," Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray said. "Sean Dixon made an outstanding play of getting the rebound off of the missed foul shot and putting it back in for that three-point play. That was a big-time play."

For the game, Williamsport made 10 of its 11 free throws.

"The foul shooting definitely saved us," Mowbray said. "We have been struggling at the foul line, so it was very encouraging to see us hit our foul shots down the stretch."

Dixon had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats, while Will Taylor had 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots and Bikle dished out five assists.

Muzammil Bhutto scored 15 points, including four 3-pointers, while Alvin Roberson added 13 points and eight rebounds for South (7-11, 7-4).

"That is the type of game that I want to be involved with," South coach Dennis Seman said. "Win or lose, that is fun. This is what it is all about. We got in the hole early. But we clawed back and we clawed back. We just lost our focus in the final minute and a half. That shows how well that Williamsport is coached because of how well they executed during the final minute and a half."

The Wildcats scored the first five points of the second half, as Chad Poffenberger scored off an offensive rebound and and Taylor then converted a three-point play, to build a 35-19 advantage with 6:28 left in the third quarter.

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