Girls Basketball: Key's hot hand unlocks offense as 'Cats swamp Clear Spring

January 19, 2012|By CURT HORNBECKER | Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING — Williamsport girls basketball coach Chris Malott may have had many questions heading into the Wildcats’ game against Clear Spring on Thursday night, but Victoria Key provided a lot of answers.

The Wildcats junior nearly outscored the Blazers single-handedly, pouring in 29 points in a 55-31 MVAL Antietam victory in which all eight Williamsport players scored at least two points.

“We just couldn’t get out to her fast enough,” said Clear Spring coach Adam Hoopengardner. “She really brought her game tonight.”

Most of the damage inflicted by Key came from long range, pouring in seven 3-pointers on 11 attempts.

“I’m not sure she had seven 3-pointers all year long,” said Malott. “I know she doesn’t have any more than 10 or 11. She’s streaky, but when she’s shooting as well as she was tonight, she can just keep on shooting.”

Equally important, however, was the Wildcats’ defense, which limited Clear Spring to 11 points in the second half.

The Blazers (2-10, 0-8), who hit just three of 24 second-half field goals, were completely throttled in the paint and turned the ball over 18 times, including seven in the third quarter.

Even though Clear Spring trailed by just six points at the half, Hoopengardner elected not to change defenses despite Key’s 17 first-half points scored over its 1-3-1 zone.

“I should have changed something up on defense at the half,” said Hoopengardner. “We got out-coached tonight. The effort was there. We just got out-coached.”

Key took full advantage of the Clear Spring zone in the decisive third period as Williamsport (5-8, 2-6) outscored the Blazers 18-5, extending its lead to 44-25 after three periods. In a span of just over three minutes, Key nailed a pair of 15-footers, and drained a 3 to put the game away for the Wildcats.

The Blazers wrestled with foul trouble as Jessica Barnhart — who sparked Clear Spring with 12 points — sat out significant minutes in the second half with four fouls. Starting center Sam Staley also ran into second-half foul trouble.

JV: Williamsport 38-36. (W: Carley Robinson 15, CS: Isabel Forsman 17).

Williamsport 55, Clear Spring 31
Malott 2, Arnone 5, Christy 6, Key 29, Willingham 4, Strite 2, Kastelein 5, Palmer 2. Totals 21 6-10 55.
CLEAR SPRING (2-10, 0-8)
Forrest 2, Staley 4, Carey 2, Barnhart 12, Mills 7, Holtzman 2, Bowers 2. Totals 10 11-14 31.
Williamsport    11    15    18    11    —    55
Clear Spring    8    12    5    6    —    31
3-point goals — Williamsport 7 (Key 7).

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