'Cats survive scare from Leopards

March 02, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE |

WILLIAMSPORT — The reality show “Survivor” would fit into the analysis by Williamsport boys basketball coach Scott Mowbray following Wednesday’s battle with Smithsburg.

The first two meetings between the rivals during the regular season turned out pale in comparison to Wednesday’s game.

It boiled down to Williamsport escaping with a 46-43 victory over Smithsburg in the Maryland Class 1A West Region East Sectional final to gain a berth in Saturday’s region final against Southern Garett in a 2 p.m. tipoff at Frederick Community College.

“We are very fortunate to win, there are no excuses,” said Mowbray. “Tournament time is about survival. That’s what we did and now we are playing Saturday.”

Williamsport (21-3) led wire-to-wire despite a rocky first quarter, in which it committed eight of its 20 turnovers.

The Wildcats, who led 23-21 at the half, appeared to be on their way to another double-digit win when they broke out to a 34-24 lead with 3:33 remaining in the third quarter with senior guard Connor Arnone having a hand in the 7-0 run with two goals and an assist to Brandon McCauley.

But Smithsburg (13-12), on a late-season splurge with a five-game win streak, including a road win Monday against Brunswick, was not to be denied.

The Leopards made the last three minutes of the game a good case for the Wildcats taking some pain pills.

Taking advantage of two turnovers, Smithsburg cut a 43-36 deficit to 44-43 on a conventional three-point play by Aaron Dinterman with 59 seconds remaining.

The Leopards had three other opportunities to take a lead but failed shots followed a pair of missed free throws by Williamsport. The last came when Dinterman drove the paint but his shot caromed off the rim.

“We had a play called (for Dinterman) and he got a great look at the goal, but it just didn’t fall,” said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber.

Arnone, with the rebound, went to the line and sank two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to secure the win.

“It wasn’t pretty,” said Arnone, who scored 10 points. “(Smithbsurg) matched our intensity. I’m just glad we won.”

McCauley had one of his better games in the latter half of the season, leading the Wildcats with 16 points and eight rebounds.

“(McCauley) had a nice game,” said Mowbray. “He got some open looks and he also created some for others.”

Dinterman led Smithsburg with 15 points and Dylan Ianaro chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds.

“It was a typical, tough, low-scoring tournament game,” said Gerber. “To be at Williamsport, be down like we were and to come back ... a great effort on the part of my guys.”

Williamsport 46, Smithsburg 43

Ganley 2-9 1-2 6, Ianaro 4-7 0-0 10, Dinterman 5-12 5-6 15, Gibson 0-3 0-0 0, Fortson 3-11 0-0 7, Willard 1-1 0-0 3, Spickler 0-0 2-2 2, Pierre 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-44 8-10 43.
Arnone 3-10 3-5 10, Green 1-2 0-0 2, McCauley 7-18 2-3 16, Christy 2-2 2-2 7, Wise 3-5 1-2 7, Butts 1-3 0-0 2, Aleshire 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-41 8-12 46.
Smithsburg    7    14    9    13    —    43
Williamsport    9    14    14    9    —    46

3-point goals—Smithsburg 5 (Ganley, Ianaro 2, Fortson, Willard), Williamsport 2 (Arnone, Christy). Rebounds—Smithsburg 25 (Ianaro 9), Williamsport 33 (McCauley 8). Turnovers—Smithsburg 19, Williamsport 20.

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