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'Cats' pressure lowers boom on suspecting Blazers

January 08, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING — Ryan Grabill knew it was coming.

After five years as Williamsport’s junior varsity coach, while learning his craft under Wildcats coach Scott Mowbray, he knew what was coming on Friday night.

“You know (Williamsport) is going to play so hard and we were shell-shocked,” said Grabill after watching his young Clear Spring boys team crumble 77-34 to Williamsport in an MVAL Antietam contest.

“We knew what had to be done tonight but we just couldn’t handle the ball against their pressure,” said Grabill.

The Wildcats forced 20 turnovers in the first half and 37 in the game with various defensive sets.

Williamsport players hugged Grabill during pregame introductions. Once the whistle sounded, it was all business for the Wildcats (9-0, 5-0).

Clear Spring (5-4, 2-3) contested Williamsport for the first few moments of the opening period and trailed only 9-5 before reality set in.

Four straight turnovers resulted in a 9-0 Williamsport run, sparked by seven points from Stephen Christy, on the way to a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The lead extended to 45-21 by halftime.

“Defensively we played with intensity and with a purpose,” said Mowbray. “We didn’t have a problem with any mismatches, so we were able to do a lot of trap defenses.”


After Clear Spring hit a deuce to open the second half, the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run with six more points by Christy, who ended with a game-high 22 points, hitting 7 of 15 from the floor and 7 of 9 from the foul line.

The final margin would have been greater had Williamsport, a team that shoots around 70 percent at the foul line, had fared better. The Wildcats hit but 25 of 46 from the stripe.

“We practice 25, 30 minutes shooting free throws and tonight we couldn’t throw it in the Atlantic Ocean,” said Mowbray. “But it was good to get the bench kids plenty of playing time.”

Tyler Wise chipped in with 12 points ad nine rebounds as Williamsport’s starters played about 18 minutes. Brandon McCauley scored 10 points.

“We didn’t have a letdown after Tuesday (vs. South Hagerstown) and that’s a credit to the kids,” said Mowbray. “And I give credit to (Grabill) for his kids playing hard. We didn’t take them lightly and I respect what he is trying to do.”

Sophomore Ryan Aaron, who Grabill is very pleased with in the early part of the campaign, led the Blazers with 12 points and Donald Schilling added 11.

“I just wanted us to compete tonight and we only did that in spurts,” said Grabill.

Clear Spring’s four losses have been to teams that have a combined 28-5 record.

JV: Williamsport 54-45 (W: Sterling Christy 19, CS: Tyler Walling 11).


Williamsport 77, Clear Spring 34
WILLIAMSPORT (9-0, 5-0)

McCauley 2-8 4-6 10, Green 1-3 2-2 4, Arnone 2-5 3-5 7, Christy 7-15 7-9 22, Wise 5-6 2-5 12, Gozora 1-2 0-2 2, Butts 2-8 1-4 5, Aleshire 2-2 1-2 6, Long 1-2 0-3 2, Miller 1-1 5-8 7. Totals 24-52 25-46 77.
CLEAR SPRING (5-4, 2-3)
Hill 0-5 0-0 0, Cornwell 0-2 0-1 0, Elwood 2-3 0-0 4, Sensenbaugh 1-2 0-0 2, Schilling 2-6 7-8 11, Aaron 5-12 1-2 12, Habel 0-3 0-0 0, Weaver 2-3 0-0 4, Mellott 0-2 1-2 1, Paul 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-39 9-18 34.
Williamsport    21    24    18    14    —    77
Clear Spring    7    14    5    8    —    34

3-point goals—Williamsport 4 (McCauley 2, Christy, Aleshire); Clear Spring 1 (Aaron). Turnovers—Williamsport 13, Clear Spring 37. Rebounds—Williamsport 36 (Wise 9), Clear Spring 25 (Mellott 7).

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