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Crawford returns home a winner

February 19, 2009|By JACK HILL III

WILLIAMSPORT -- There's no place like home.

Tuscarora girls basketball coach Brooke (Weimer) Crawford returned to Williamsport on Thursday night and guided the Titans to a 45-39 win over the Wildcats, her former team.

Crawford graduated from Williamsport in 2001 and was a four-year member of the varsity team.

"I appreciate (Williamsport coach) Chris Malott playing us every year, since this is my alma mater," Crawford said. "This is a special game for us, since a lot of our family and friends come out."

Forward Brittney Bryant scored a game-high 20 points for Tuscarora (6-14), while center Jasmine Naylor had 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

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"They're just a little bit more athletic than we are," Malott said. "I was impressed with their athleticism."

Sophomore center Kayla Ewing came through with team-high totals of 14 rebounds and 13 points for Williamsport (9-11). Kelly Beard scored 12 points and Brittany Malott pulled down 10 rebounds for the Wildcats.

The Titans led the whole way as they raced out to an 8-0 lead during the first 2 1/2 minutes of the game.

But the Wildcats chopped their deficit to 9-7 just 38 seconds into the second quarter.

"When they got that 8-0 lead, we could have folded our tents," Malott said. "But we hung with them."

The Titans closed the half on a 16-7 run, capped by Naylor's buzzer-beating 3-pointer from half court, to take a 25-14 halftime lead.

"That buzzer-beater at the half was huge," Malott said. "That absolutely gave them a boost, since it put them up by 11 points at the half. But our players just continued to work hard and battle back in the second half. I am proud of our players."

Williamsport cut Tuscarora's lead down to 37-35 with 3:45 remaining in the fourth quarter, but it would not get closer than that.

The Titans outscored the Wildcats 8-4 for the rest of the way to pull out the win.

"It's been a long time coming for our team to finish a game playing smart," Crawford said. "We were trying to get the ball inside and go for high-percentage shots. I think our pressure was a key to our win tonight. We stayed with our full-court, man-to-man defense. We had very good ball pressure."

Tuscarora 45, Williamsport 39
TUSCARORA (6-14)

Blackstone 1, Boffman 7, Talley 6, Naylor 11, Bryant 20. Totals 17 9-15 45.
WILLIAMSPORT (9-11)
Beard 12, Petro 5, Cole 2, Shaw 3, Ewing 13, Malott 4. Totals 12 13-22 39.
Tuscarora 9 16 7 13 -- 45
Williamsport 5 9 13 12 -- 39

3-point goals -- Tuscarora 2 (Boffman, Naylor). Williamsport 2 (Beard 2). JV: Tuscarora 33-24. (T: Meghan Ickes 9 points; W: Chelsea Myers 11 points.)

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