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Wildcats, Blue Devils survive scares

December 28, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

WILLIAMSPORT - Williamsport and Greencastle each played a round of Survivor on Thursday in the Richard E. Doub Classic.

Each was successful and moved into tonight's boys championship game at 7.

In the opener, Greencastle gave back a 20-point lead before settling for a 67-63 victory over Mountain Ridge. Then, Williamsport squandered a 16-point halftime lead (33-17) before holding off Broadfording Christian, 46-39.

"One of the teams deserving to play in the championship game isn't playing," said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray, after his Wildcats were nearly turned upside down with Broadfording's second-half surge. "We've been lethargic the last two days ... Motionless."

All the more shocking, Williamsport (6-0) had beaten Broadfording (6-6) 76030 in the Wildcats' Dec. 7 season opener.

"We've practiced so much harder the last two, three weeks trying to improve in every facet of the game," said Broadfording coach Bernie Clutz. "We couldn't wait to get here tonight."

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Devin Gourdine scored five points and Andrew Parks added a trey to whittle the Williamsport lead down to 37-28 with 4:25 left in the third period. The Lions continued to apply pressure.

Williamsport's lead stood at 41-35 after hitting two of 14 shots in the third quarter. Gourdine outscored Williamsport 4-1 to make it 42-39 and force Mowbray to call timeout with 6:22 remaining.

The Wildcats turned to a stall in an attempt to pull Broadfording out of its sliding zone defense. Jeff Ryan stood patiently with the ball near center circle, but Clutz stood his ground by waiting until 1:30 left to change to man defense.

Greg Minnich and Ryan in the final 1:17 to ice the game.

"When you play with a lack of intensity, you feel fortunate to win," said Mowbray. "Broadfording had nothing to lose. They came in and played their tails off."

Eric Wilfong led Williamsport with 13 points, while Minnich and Sean Dixon each had six rebounds for the Wildcats, who held a 30-22 margin on the boards.

Broadfording, which only committed four of its 21 turnovers in the second half, was led by Gourdine's 15 points, all in the second half. Anthony Borum added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Clutz resisted the urge to counter Williamsport's stall tactics.

"We were still being outmanned on the boards," he said. "But I'm so happy with the effort."

Greencastle (9-1) built on a big halftime lead when Jordan Gembe hit a 3 to open the second half and move the Blue Devils to a 42-22 lead over the Miners (3-3).

"How do you explain losing a 20-point lead?" asked Greencastle coach Garon Gembe. "We quit playing. We made poor decisions on offense and didn't play defense."

The Miners went on a 13-0 run to eventually take a 51-50 lead on a pair of David Hobel free throws with 6:26 remaining.

Greencastle took a 53-51 lead when Dameatric Scott hit a deuce just before fouling out with 4:47 remaining.

The Blue Devils kept the lead as Gembe hitting 7 of 8 at the line down the stretch as part of his team-high 22-point effort.

"I don't know, when it's not a Mid-Penn game we seem to relax," said Jordan Gembe.

Scott added 19 points and Levi Holman scored 13 with nine rebounds for Greencastle. Brandon Wright led Mountain Ridge with 21 points. Hobel, last year's Doub Classic MVP as a sophomore, had 20 points, including 16 in the second half.

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