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Fond farewell

Wills says goodbye to Hancock with 20 points, win

Wills says goodbye to Hancock with 20 points, win

February 26, 2009|By JACK HILL III

HANCOCK -- Shawnda Wills had the perfect plan to celebrate Senior Night at Hancock High School.

Wills scored a game-high 20 points -- including 8 for 13 from the foul line -- while adding nine rebounds and two blocked shots in her final regular-season home game on Wednesday to lead the Panthers to a 41-35 victory over Clear Spring.

"We knew that it was going to be hard to beat them three times, because they are competitive," Wills said. "Foul shots were definitely the key to the win tonight. We have been working on those in practice and we knew that they were going to come up in the game."

Hancock (7-15) and Clear Spring (2-20) were locked in a 26-26 tie with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Panthers took control when Chelsea Stigile and Wills each canned a 3-pointer for a 32-26 lead at the end of the quarter.

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Brianna Swisher's free throws gave Hancock a 34-26 lead with 7:10 remaining, it's largest advantage of the game.

Clear Spring fought back to reduce the deficit to 37-33 with 1:51 left.

The Panthers closed out the victory with Wills going 4-for-8 from the foul line.

Stigile finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for the Panthers. Maureen Leavy, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, pulled down eight rebounds, while Karly Logsdon added seven rebounds and three steals for Hancock. The Panthers had 46 rebounds.

"It was a big win going into the playoffs," Hancock coach Rocky Wills said. "Our rebounding and our free throw shooting were the keys to the win tonight. We told the kids that we wanted to go to the free throw line 25 times and we ended up going 32 times. The only way that you can get to the free throw line is to attack and attack. You can't rely on jump shots."

Andrea Baum led Clear Spring with 13 points and six rebounds. Hannah House grabbed nine rebounds and Kat Mathews had six rebounds for the Blazers.

"It was the best effort we had all year," Clear Spring coach Adam Hoopengardner said. "That was the best that we have worked as a team all year. We played good defense. We just came up a little bit short. Hancock held onto their composure at the end and played a good game. It was a good, hard fight."

Hancock 41, Clear Spring 35
CLEAR SPRING (2-20)

Trumpower 2, Purdham 2, Baum 13, Price 7, House 2, Barnhart 3, Forest 2, Mathews 4. Totals 12 10-22 35.
HANCOCK (7-15)
Ruppenthal 2, Bowman 2, Swisher 2, Wills 20, Stigile 11, Leavy 4. Totals 10 18-32 41.
Clear Spring 17 3 6 9 -- 35
Hancock 13 9 10 9 -- 41

3-point goals -- Clear Spring 1 (Price); Hancock 3 (Wills 2, Stigile). JV: Hancock, 37-25 (Hancock: Tiffany Younker -- 11 points; Clear Spring: Heather Schlotterbeck -- 9 points).

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