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'Cats, Dixon foil Alco

January 26, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

WILLIAMSPORT - On a must-win scale of 1 to 10, Williamsport's need to beat Allegany on Friday night hit an 11.

Coming off Monday's tough 55-52 loss to unbeaten Fort Hill, the No. 4 Wildcats needed a win to maintain a high-profile position in the West Region seeding process. The once-beaten Campers stood in the way of progress.

However, Sean Dixon came through with an all-world, career-high 29 points and the Wildcats (10-2) staved off Allegany, 64-59.

"We thought we might have let one get away (Monday) and knew this was a must-win," said Dixon, who hit 14 of 16 shots with an array of baskets coming off back screens, putback rebounds and even a 3-pointer.

The 6-foot-5 senior had 13 points in the first half but saved his best for the fourth quarter.

With the Wildcats leading, Dixon opened the final quarter with eight of Williamsport's first 10 points to push the advantage to 50-42. Two buckets came on assists from Greg Minnick and two others off offensive rebounds.

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"I was getting good screens and curled off them inside and got good looks inside six feet," said Dixon, who also had seven rebounds.

Eric Wilfong, saddled early with two personal fouls, hit 6-of-6 from the line and a Dixon bucket got the Wildcats' lead to 60-44 with 1:16 to play, but Allegany (12-2) wasn't about to roll over.

Casey Roberts hit two 3-pointers and had a conventional three-point play as Allegany scored 13 points in 45 seconds to whittle the score to 63-57 with 25 seconds remaining.

"I'm a little frustrated we lost a 16-point lead but it doesn't diminish the victory," said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. "We got a little soft and content with the lead. I told (the players) this week whether you win by one, or 30, this was a must-win."

Mowbray said his squad had two good practices following the loss to Fort Hill, but the Wildcats came out slow, commiting 12 turnovers in the first half before settling for a 26-25 lead.

"We looked like we were walking in sand," said Mowbray. "But, we played hard and came back."

Allegany led 17-13 after the first eight minutes, but two baskets by Dixon helped forge a 19-19 tie early in the second period. The Wildcats went on a 7-0 run that included a 3-pointer by Wilfong before the Campers closed with six unanswered points.

"We didn't get a lot of the loose balls and the (Williamsport) defense stepped up and I thought that was the difference," said Allegany coach Tedd Eirich. "People could have buried us down 16 but our kids didn't give up in the end."

Dixon's effort from the field was the setting stone for a 63-percent night shooting for Williamsport (25 of 40). Wilfong added 13 points and Minnick had 10, along with 10 rebounds, including six in the final period.

Roberts shared honors with Dustin Wharton with 13 points for Allegany, which hit 20 of 47 from the field.

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