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Blazers earn rivalry bragging rights

December 20, 2007|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - Washington County rivals Clear Spring and Hancock have had some good battles in various sports throughout the years.

The boys basketball teams had another good one Wednesday night at Hancock, with the Blazers earning bragging rights - for now - with a 73-66 victory.

"When you walk into this gym, you are going to have a battle," Clear Spring coach Mark Shives said. "Some of the fans were probably reliving the past, because it is a good traditional rivalry between Clear Spring and Hancock. It was good basketball. They made a run, but it took a lot out of them. That allowed us to keep our composure and we were able to hit some foul shots."

Shives was glad that Clear Spring improved to 4-0, but he was already looking ahead.

"It has been a long time since we have been 4-0," Shives said. "It's great tonight, but it will be forgotten tomorrow night. We've got a war at our place on Friday night against Catoctin."

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Senior point guard Keith Gilchrist finished with 19 points, six assists and five steals for Clear Spring. Kyle Crist chipped in with 16 points and nine rebounds, Jordan Lavender and Bret Turner hauled in 10 rebounds each and Cody Englehart pulled down eight rebounds.

Senior reserve Josh Unger finished with team-high totals of 21 points and nine rebounds for Hancock (2-4). Steven Beaver scored 16 points, while Spencer Golden added 13 points and three steals.

"We didn't play together and we didn't play smart," Hancock coach Ron Hose said. "Clear Spring did a nice job of being aggressive. They kicked our butts on the glass. We missed 30 shots in the game. Mentally, I don't think my guys were ready to play tonight. We just looked sluggish. This was our fifth game in the last nine days. I think we are a little bit tired."

Clear Spring held an 11-8 lead over Hancock with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter before the Blazers outscored the Panthers 8-1 the rest of the period.

Clear Spring expanded its lead to 37-23 by halftime.

Hancock started to come back in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 68-62 with 1:33 left. But the Blazers held on.

"We put good pressure on defense," Shives said. "We have been preaching that if you set the tone on defense, then you make a stand. I thought the defense created a lot of offense tonight."

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