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Blazers make late move, knock off Leopards

February 08, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING — Tuesday night’s Smithsburg-Clear Spring boys basketball game felt more like an NCAA rivalry game than an MVAL Antietam contest.

Emotions ran high as the Blazers and Leopards battled through a close game until Clear Spring’s defense clamped down in the fourth quarter, leading to a 61-53 Blazers victory.

The teams matched each other almost shot for shot in the first half, with Smithsburg’s Aaron Dinterman hitting a buzzer-beating layup to send the Leopards (8-10, 6-7) to halftime with a 32-31 lead. Clear Spring’s Sam Elwood led all scorers with 10 points in the first half.

Dinterman came out hot in the third quarter, scoring four points, and Jordan Fortson hit a jumper to give Smithsburg a seven-point lead to start the second half.

Then Clear Spring heated up. A 3-pointer by Ryan Aaron sent the Blazers (8-9, 5-8) on a run to tie the score at 38-38, with buckets by Nick Hill and Adam Mellott. Dinterman hit another layup to give the Leopards a brief lead, but Hill hit a 3-pointer in the corner to give Clear Spring a one-point lead going into the final frame.

Hill finished with 14 points, while Aaron had 13.

“I thought we were getting decent shots, and we were getting 3-to-2 and 4-to-2 advantages, but we weren’t converting,” said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber. “In hindsight, I think we could have gotten a bigger advantage in the third quarter.”

The Leopards needed a bigger advantage, as the Blazers held them scoreless in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter while going on a nine-point run, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.

“We switched from a 2-3 to a 1-3-1 zone defense and it threw them off their rhythm,” said Clear Spring coach Ryan Grabill. “We held Smithsburg to 21 total points in the second half.”

Smithsburg found its stroke again, however, as two 3-pointers from Cullan Ganley and one by Fortson got the Leopards back within five, and the Smithsburg fans back in the game.

“The crowd was into it and we fed off of them, we were living for the moment,” said Grabill.

A technical foul by Ganley gave Donald Schilling two free throws, putting the Blazers up 58-51 with less than a minute left and out of the Leopards’ reach. Schilling scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.

“(Schilling) showed the senior leadership that we know he’s capable of. On that technical he said, ‘I want the ball,’ and we gave it to him,” Grabill said. “This was a huge win for us.”

Dinterman led Smithsburg with 14 points and five rebounds, and Fortson had 11 points.

JV: Clear Spring, 47-33 (CS: Tyler Walling 21, S: Ryan Bolton 8).

Clear Spring 61, Smithsburg 53
SMITHSBURG (8-10, 6-7)

Ganley 2 0-0 6, Hardy 1 0-1 2, Spickler 2 0-0 4, Fortson 5 0-0 11, Hogue 2 0-0 4, Dinterman 5 4-4 14, Gibson 1 0-0 2, Ianaro 3 3-3 9, Eyler 0 1-1 1. Totals 21 8-9 53.
CLEAR SPRING (8-9, 5-8)
Hill 5 2-3 14, Habel 1 0-1 2, Cornwell 0 2-2 2, Weaver 1 1-2 3, Mellott 1 0-0 2, Elwood 3 5-7 11, Sensenbaugh 2 0-0 4, Schilling 4 2-2 10, Aaron 6 0-1 13. Totals 23 12-18 61.
Smithsburg    17    15    8    13    —    53
Clear Spring    17    14    10    20    —    61
3-point goals — Smithsburg 3 (Ganley 2, Fortson); Clear Spring 3 (Hill 2, Aaron). Rebounds — Smithsburg 22 (Ganley 5, Spickler 5, Dinterman 5); Clear Spring 18 (Sensenbaugh 6). Assists — Smithsburg 8 (Hogue 2, Gibson 2); Clear Spring 8 (Elwood 2, Schilling 2). Steals — Smithsburg 11 (Gibson 3); Clear Spring 5 (Hill 2, Elwood 2). Turnovers — Smithsburg 12, Clear Spring 15.

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