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Saints finish off Blazers

December 05, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

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    SAINT JAMES -- Clear Spring's season debut started off like gangbusters Friday night. Saint James finished its night like gangbusters.

    Rallying from a 15-point deficit in the first half, Saint James pulled out a 55-54 victory over Clear Spring to ruin a 26-point effort by the Blazers' Brandon Glazer.

    "There were a lot of factors out of our control in the first half," said Saints coach Mike Brooks, whose team trailed 40-26 at halftime. "At halftime, we said there wasn't a 15-point shot so take one possession at a time."

    Saint James was whistled for 17 personal fouls in the first half and Clear Spring was in the bonus at the outset of the second period. Glazer, with aggressive moves to the basket, was the main benefactor as he hit 13 of 15 from the line and scored 22 first-half points.

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"It was the style of play in the first half we want," said Clear Spring coach Mark Shives.

The Saints switched to a zone defense and the Blazers became passive in their offensive approach, missed a bevy of layup opportunities and found themselves in a bit of foul trouble, although no one fouled out.

Clear Spring managed only six points in the third quarter, while Saint James' Avery Wilmore, who picked up his third foul just a minute into the second quarter, and Will Smith each scored five points to reduce the deficit to 46-40 after three periods.

"I thought our zone threw them a curveball," said Brooks. "And when (Clear Spring) went to a zone we started getting some better shots."

The open looks in the decisive fourth quarter came from an unknown.

Used sparingly in the Saints' first two games this season, 5-foot-9 junior guard Andrew Ludwick got a starting nod and produced in the final eight minutes.

He hit a 3-pointer with 6:05 remaining to narrow the gap to 47-44. One minute later from the right corner, he banked a 3-pointer to forge a 47-47 tie and squarely put the Saints back in the game.

From the right wing, Mande Magassouba hit a trey for a 50-47 Saints lead with 4:30 remaining. Then, after two missed layups by the Blazers, Ludwick picked up a rebound putback for a 52-47 lead.

"(Ludwick) is the kind of kid who wins in practice," said Brooks. "That's why he started tonight. He's fearless and the craziest kid I've known. I can't ever get him off the floor."

After the Blazers fought back for a 52-52 tie on field goals by Cody Englehart and Glazer, along with a free throw, Ludwick again nailed a 3-pointer on a shot that lacked much arc but found the twine for a 55-52 lead with 1:19 remaining.

Englehart scored on a rebound to cut it to 55-54, and Saint James' Dylan Zimmerman then missed the front end of a one-and-one with 22 seconds remaining.

Inbounding after a timeout, Clear Spring settled for a 3-point effort from the right wing by Rowe. Magassouba rebounded and got fouled. He missed his free throw, Englehart rebounded and got the ball to Glazer, who missed from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded.

"We wanted a good shot and instead we settled for the 3 (by Rowe)," said Shives. "We stressed we didn't need a 3 and the plan was to attack the glass, In the second half, we just became too passive."

Ludwick finished with a team-high 14 points for the Saints, and Smith added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Englehart also had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds as the Blazers dominated the boards, 42-25. Rowe added 10 points.

Saint James 55, Clear Spring 54
CLEAR SPRING (0-1)

Mi. Braithwaite 0-1 0-0 0, Glazer 5-14 15-19 26, Englehart 4-13 5-7 13, Rowe 4-9 1-2 10, Banzhoff 0-1 0-0 0, Schilling 1-4 0-0 2, Elwood 1-3 1-2 3, Yost 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-46 22-30 54.
SAINT JAMES (2-1)
Wilmore 2-8 1-2 5, Ludwick 5-6 0-1 14, Zimmerman 3-9 1-5 8, Smith 5-8 2-3 12, Magassouba 2-10 0-1 5, Louderback 2-6 3-3 8, Orfan 1-3 0-0 2, Wooten 0-5 1-2 1. Totals 20-55 8-17 55.
Clear Spring 23 17 6 8 -- 54
Saint James 17 9 14 15 -- 55

3-point goals--Clear Spring 2 (Glazer, Rowe), Saint James 7 (Ludwick 4, Zimmerman, Magassouba, Louderback). Rebounds--Clear Spring 42 (Englehart 15), Saint James 25 (Smith 10). Turnovers--Clear Spring 16, Saint James 9. Fouled out--Wilmore.

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