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Leopards' speed stuns Blazers

January 13, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Clear Spring's Ralph Weaver (12) takes a charge from Smithsburg's Dylan Ianaro during Thursday night's MVAL Antietam boys basketball game at Smithsburg.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

SMITHSBURG — There were times Ryan Grabill must have felt like he left his finger on the fast-forward button of his remote.

“We prepared for it, but we can’t simulate (the speed) in practice,” the Clear Spring boys basketball coach said.

There were times Smithsburg looked like a Charlie Chaplin movie running on the spin cycle. The Leopards kicked up the tempo of the game and kicked the Blazers to the side on Thursday for a 66-54 MVAL Antietam victory.

They did it by slapping full-court pressure on a Clear Spring team which would have much rather played halfcourt basketball in a 2-3 zone.

“We wanted to play uptempo,” Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said. “We did a good job attacking their zone and had some good shot selection. We hit a lot of 15-foot jump shots.”

The real key was the Leopards’ ability to play the game like they were on roller skates. Smithsburg got Clear Spring to put the ball on the floor, creating mad chases for possessions to put the game in table-tennis mode.

Clear Spring (5-5, 2-4) took an early 6-1 lead, then did the worst thing possible — the Blazers allowed Smithsburg to score, which unleashed the pressure. The Leopards (6-5, 4-1) tied the game at 6 and owned a 16-14 lead after the first quarter.

“Everything started to get pushed,” Grabill said. “It was a sloppy game. We haven’t played since last Friday and we had a snow day in there. It was sloppy, but I was pleased with how we played.”

Smithsburg started taking control, as Jordan Fortson hit 12 of his 14 points in the first half — mostly on open jumpers off passes around Clear Spring’s zone. Dylan Ianaro caused havoc on the point of the press and scored 10 of his 12 before intermission.

“Jordan is a good mid-range jump shooter and we found him a lot in the mini-transitions and he got open,” Gerber said. “Dylan did a great job despite a couple too many turnovers.”

The game remained close, as Clear Spring started getting through the Leopards’ press for easy baskets but couldn’t do it consistently.

“We would get close and then they would get a run and pull away,” Grabill said. “We either give up runs or we trade baskets and we don’t have enough firepower to do that.”

Clear Spring moved within 22-20 on a Donald Schilling 8-footer off a Sam Elwood feed with 3:50 to go in the first half.

“The way we play, we are going to give up a lot of layups,” Gerber said. “Elwood got going and made us pay. He had a nice game.”

From there, Smithsburg closed with a 10-2 run for a 32-22 halftime lead and opened the second half with a 10-6 run in the first four minutes of the third quarter for a commanding 42-28 lead.

Brad Spickler picked up where Fortson and Ianaro left off with 10 second-half points as Smithsburg built a 64-42 lead with 5:11 remaining. The Leopards tried to freeze the ball the rest of the way, allowing Clear Spring to finish with a 12-2 run to tighten the final score, led by Schilling and Linden Paul with three points each.

Spickler led Smithsburg with seven rebounds while Ianaro finished with six boards. Chris Miller led the Blazers with 12 points, mostly off the baseline, while Schilling had 11 despite foul trouble.

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CLEAR SPRING (5-5, 2-4)
Hill 2 2-3 6, Weaver 1 0-0 2, Miller 6 0-0 12, Mellott 2 0-0 4, Elwood 2 4-4 8, Paul 1 1-2 3, Sensenbaugh 1 0-0 2, Schilling 5 1-2 11, Aaron 3 0-2 6. Totals 23 8-13 54.
SMITHSBURG (6-5, 4-1)
Ganley 3 1-2 7, Willard 1 0-0 2, Hardy 2 3-4 7, Spickler 5 0-1 10, Fortson 7 0-0 14, Hogue 2 1-1 5, Dinterman 4 1-3 9, Ianaro 5 2-4 12. Totals 29 8-15 66,
Clear Spring    14    8    16    16    —    54
Smithsburg    16    16    22    12    —    66

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