Boys basketball: Wildcats top Blazers for fifth straight win

January 20, 2012|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT — The Williamsport boys basketball team earned its fifth straight win with a 52-44 MVAL Antietam victory over Clear Spring on Friday night in front of a jam-packed crowd.

Meanwhile, the Blazers suffered their seventh consecutive defeat after starting the season 7-0.

“This was definitely a confidence booster for the guys,” Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray said. “You can see that we are getting better.”

A 1-6 start to the season had the Wildcats reeling, but Williamsport (6-7, 4-4) is 5-1 since the return of Sterling Christy, who finished with 15 points Friday.

The entry of Christy to the lineup has helped improve the Wildcats’ low-post game as he and teammate Tyler Wise command the paint. Wise scored a team-high 18 points as he and Christy combined to score 33 of Williamsport’s 52 points.

“(Wise) and (Christy) work well together in the low post,” Mowbray said. “They feed off each other.”

Clear Spring had no choice but to take notice of Williamsport’s forward tandem.

“Credit to (Wise) and (Christy),” Clear Spring coach Ryan Grabill said. “They stepped up and seem to make a play every time we tried to make a run.”

Clear Spring (7-7, 3-5) hit two early field goals to take a 4-0 lead, but a 12-0 run by Williamsport quickly erased the Blazers’ short-lived lead and put the Wildcats in front for the rest of the game.

“I thought we played well in spurts,” Mowbray said. “We did just enough at the end to win.”

The game might have been a far different story if either Clear Spring or Williamsport had been more efficient from the charity stripe. The Blazers shot 47.8 percent (11 of 23) from the line, while the Wildcats shot 48.4 percent (16 of 33).

“We’re a better free-throw shooting team than that,” Mowbray said.

“Those free-throw misses were very crucial, they changed the complexion of the game,” Grabill said.

Clear Spring was led by Nick Hill, who finished with a game-high 20 points. No other Clear Spring player finished in double digits.

“We have to find a complement to (Hill),” Grabill said. “We can’t rely on him every night.”

Williamsport 52, Clear Spring 44
CLEAR SPRING (7-7, 3-5)
Hill 20, Elwood 7, Brant 6, Sensenbaugh 5, Miller 4, Lazich 2. Totals 15 11-23 44.
Wise 18, Christy 15, Aleshire 11, Butts 4, Jackson 4. Totals 18 16-33 52.
Clear Spring     8    7    12    17    —    44
Williamsport    13    8    13    18    —    52
3-point goals — Clear Spring 3 (Hill 2, Elwood).

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