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Crist holds line, shoots behind it to carry Blazers

February 18, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

WILLIAMSPORT -- Clear Spring's Kyle Crist isn't known to be a ball hog.

It did, however, seem as if the No. 6 Blazers' senior was the only one to touch the basketball in the final minute against Williamsport on Tuesday.

Crist was the only one to score in the last 1:11 of action, draining five free throws to help Clear Spring inch past the Wildcats 50-46 to sweep the regular-season series.

Crist drained 8 of 10 foul shots in the fourth quarter -- 5-for-7 in the final 71 seconds -- to lead all scorers with 14 points.

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"Kyle Crist is a senior, you know, and when you're a little kid you're dreaming about being on the line late in the game to hit the foul shots to ice it," said Clear Spring coach Mark Shives. "That's basically what Kyle Crist did. What more can you ask from your senior in a big moment?"

Crist hit the back end of two technical foul shots to pull the Blazers (14-6, 6-4) to within 46-45 with 1:11 left. He hit the tying and go-ahead free throws with 14 seconds left to give Clear Spring a 47-46 advantage -- its first lead since the 4:11-mark of the third quarter.

"The one that gave us the lead, I just figured I had to make it to give us confidence to finish out the game," Crist said. "I haven't been in that position much this year, so it was kind of new to me. But I just kept my cool, concentrated on the shot and made it."

Williamsport (11-9, 4-5) turned the ball over twice on its final three possessions, coach Scott Mowbray was called for the Wildcats' second fourth-quarter technical foul, and Crist drained three more foul shots to seal the win.

Those shots capped a 24-point fourth quarter for Clear Spring, which scored just 26 in the first 24 minutes. The Blazers held Williamsport to 13 points in the final period.

"We pretty much dictated the tempo and played a good game defensively," Mowbray said. "You hold somebody to 11 field goals and you should have a pretty good opportunity to win the basketball game."

The Wildcats outscored Clear Spring 16-8 in the third quarter to take a 33-26 lead. The margin gradually shrunk until the Blazers took the lead late and Williamsport was held scoreless for the final 1:28.

Mowbray was whistled for the technical after Stephen Christy was called for traveling with the Wildcats trailing 47-46 with 7.5 seconds left.

"I don't know if I gave our guys a chance after the technical foul," Mowbray said. "Obviously we came unraveled a little bit at the end. I feel bad for my guys because they played hard for the whole game."

The teams combined to hit on just 13 of 46 shots in the first half as Clear Spring took a an 18-17 lead into the locker room. The Blazers were 6-for-20 (30 percent), while the Wildcats made just 7 of 26 (26.9 percent).

Brandon Glazer had 10 points, Cody Lerch had nine and Joel Rowe chipped in with eight for the Blazers, who beat Williamsport 62-52 on Jan. 16.

Casey McKenrick and Connor Arnone led the Wildcats with 13 points each.

Clear Spring 50, Williamsport 46
CLEAR SPRING (14-6, 6-4)

Glazer 10, Lerch 9, Thurber 1, Lavender 2, Crist 14, Englehart 6, Rowe 8. Totals 11 24-34 50.
WILLIAMSPORT (11-9, 4-5)
McCauley 8, Easterling 2, Arnone 13, Christy 5, McKenrick 13, Warrenfeltz 5. Totals 14 18-25 46.
Clear Spring 9 9 8 24 -- 50
Williamsport 7 10 16 13 -- 46

3-point goals -- Clear Spring 4 (Glazer, Lerch 2, Crist). Fouled out -- Englehart. Technical fouls -- McCauley, Mowbray. JV -- Williamsport, 63-25.

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