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No big surprise

Taylor, Dixon lead Wildcats in sectional final

Taylor, Dixon lead Wildcats in sectional final

March 01, 2007|by DAN KAUFFMAN

After playing twice in the regular season, there were few surprises in Wednesday's Maryland Class 1A West East Sectional boys basketball final between Williamsport and Brunswick.

The Railroaders knew what the Wildcats were going to throw at them - namely, the inside play of Will Taylor and Sean Dixon, who combined for 57 points and 42 rebounds in the two victories earlier this season.

And just like those first two times, Brunswick was powerless to stop it.

Dixon had 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, and Taylor fought through foul trouble to add 19 points, 15 rebounds and four assists as Williamsport earned a trip to Friday's regional final with a 71-57 victory at North Hagerstown.

The Wildcats will travel to Allegany High School in Cumberland, Md., to face Fort Hill at 7 p.m., with a trip to the state semifinals at stake.

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"(Fort Hill) has a very nice team, they're, I think, 22-2, and they've won like 12 games in a row. It's an excellent opportunity for us in an excellent environment," Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray said. "We went up there last year and lost to Allegany, so the kids have been wanting this."

After a ragged first quarter in which they made just 5 of 14 shots, the Wildcats (18-6) righted the ship in the second, making 7 of 13.

Chad Bikle and Eric Wilfong hit 3-pointers for a 21-12 lead, and later Taylor made three straight baskets for a 27-16 lead. Williamsport settled for a 31-19 lead at halftime, helped by a defense that forced 14 Brunswick turnovers.

"Our shot selection was not good early," Mowbray said. "We took too many quick shots and we were not going to our bread and butter inside, which is Will. Finally we went into him, then he kicked it out and we hit a couple shots outside and that loosened it back up for him."

Dixon picked up his game in the third quarter, scoring five points in a 10-2 run to start the second half for a 41-21 lead. Wilfong ignited the run with his second 3 and Taylor capped it with a putback. Dixon wound up scoring nine points in the quarter as Williamsport entered the fourth with a 48-30 lead.

Brunswick (14-10) made one last push in the fourth, making five 3-pointers and scoring 27 points in the quarter. The closest the Railroaders got was 57-45 with 3:52 left.

Taylor answered with a pair of baskets, then fed Dixon for a layup and finally set up Bikle, who got fouled and made two free throws to make it 65-45 and all but wrap up the sectional title.

The Railroaders made 6 of 9 shots in the first quarter and 10 of 20 in the fourth, but made just 4 of 22 in the middle two quarters to dig too deep a hole.

"Defensively, we did a real good job on them," Mowbray said. "I have to tip my hat to Chad (Poffenberger). Night in and night out, he takes the other team's best player. He's one player who always does the little things ... and he's gone unnoticed, and it's time for people to realize how important he is to us."

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