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'Cats line up to dash hopes of Leopards

February 21, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

SMITHSBURG -- In a game filled with offensive futility, Williamsport found its shooting touch at the one spot that mattered Friday night -- the foul line.

The Wildcats made 15 of 18 foul shots in the fourth quarter and 22 of 28 for the game, and it was enough to upend Smithsburg 41-33 and ruin the Leopards' Senior Night.

"We got stops when we had to, stepped up defensively and made our free throws," Williamsport assistant coach Ryan Grabill said. "We shoot a bunch of them every day for situations like this."

Grabill was filling in for head coach Scott Mowbray, who missed the game for undisclosed reasons.

"All I can tell you is I will be the coach until Tuesday, then he'll be back," Grabill said.

Williamsport's final regular-season game is Monday at home against South Hagerstown.

The Wildcats (12-9, 5-5) went 5-for-18 from the field in the first half, yet took a 15-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. Smithsburg (7-15, 4-6) went 2-for-16 in the half, including 0-for-7 in the second quarter when the Leopards scored just one point.

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"We shot horribly in the first half, but we said, 'You know what, our defense is fine, they only scored 15, our shots will start falling and if we continue to play defense, we'll be fine,'" Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said.

He proved to be right. After Michael Warrenfeltz made 3 of 4 free throws to give the Wildcats an 18-7 lead with 6:22 left in the third quarter, Smithsburg scored the last 16 points of the quarter to take a 23-18 lead. Alan Reed scored the first five points of the run and Steve Kretzer scored the last six, while Williamsport went 0-for-6 from the field with five turnovers in the frame.

"I'm very, very proud of our guys for the way they came out in the third quarter and made that run," Gerber said. "Steve just played a monster of a second half, scoring and creating defensively with his hands in the passing lanes."

With both teams in the bonus within the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, the game came down to free throws, and Williamsport got the better of it, with Smithsburg making only 4 of 8 in the quarter. Trey Malott scored all six of his points by going 6-for-6 from the line in the last three minutes.

Stephen Christy led the Wildcats with 11 points. Michael Warrenfeltz and Colby McCauley each had six rebounds, Casey McKenrick had five rebounds and McCauley made three steals.

Kretzer led all players with 15 points and four steals for the Leopards. Reed had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Williamsport 41, Smithsburg 33
WILLIAMSPORT (12-9, 5-5)

McCauley 6, McKenrick 7, Warrenfeltz 6, Christy 11, Arnone 4, Pllana 1, Malott 6. Totals 9 22-28 41.
SMITHSBURG (7-15, 4-6)
Reed 8, Kretzer 15, Conway 2, Dinterman 3, Orndorff 3, Kendall 2. Totals 10 11-22 33.
Williamsport 7 8 3 23 -- 41
Smithsburg 6 1 16 10 -- 33

3-point goals -- Williamsport 1 (Christy), Smithsburg 2 (Kretzer, Orndorff). Fouled out -- Reed. JV -- Williamsport, 57-49 (W: Xavier Green 24; S: Cullan Ganley 13).

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