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Boys Basketball: Leopards erupt in fourth quarter to top 'Cats

January 24, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

Smithsburg senior Trent Springs saw limited action in the first half Tuesday after picking up two fouls in the first three minutes of the game.

But in the second half, Springs took off like a freshly fueled booster rocket.

Springs was unstoppable inside and out, scoring a career-high 31 points on Tuesday to lead Smithsburg to a 72-57 victory over Williamsport in an MVAL Antietam Conference boys basketball matchup.

“I didn’t think anything like this would happen,” said Springs, who hit 10 of 15 shots from the field — including three 3-pointers — and 8 of 11 at the foul line. “This was a pressure game because (Williamsport) has been playing well.”

Jordan Fortson added 24 points for the Leopards (12-3, 8-1), who defeated Williamsport for the second time this season.

The game was hotly contested from start to finish, a chest-to-chest battle with foul totals mounting early.

Williamsport held a 26-22 lead late in the first half as the Wildcats hit 11 of 14 from the field. The Wildcats remained on top 33-31 on a Sterling Christy basket late in the third quarter.

Suddenly, Springs sprung to life and shifted the momentum.

He gave Smithsburg a 38-35 lead at the end of the quarter, then came out with successive 3-pointers to start the fourth. Fortson hit a bucket and Springs followed with another to give the Leopards a 48-37 lead with 5:27 to play.

“We started to push the game,” said Springs. “We got Williamsport out of their offense. And I was getting good looks off passes from my teammates.”

From that point, Williamsport could do no better than trade baskets with the Leopards until Smithsburg had a quick 6-0 run for a 66-49 lead in the waning moments.

Smithsburg scored 34 points in the fourth quarter alone, with Springs tallying 18.

“In the first half, we weren’t forcing any turnovers with our defense,” said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber. “Then we go into the locker room and after seeing what (Williamsport) shot and we were only down by four, we felt good. I thought we did a better job in the second half.”

Williamsport was guilty of 19 turnovers, while Smithsburg had but seven — and only one in the second half.

“We had opportunities to dictate the flow with our half-court offense,” said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. “We’re tied at 35 and they start making long-range shots. But we battled.”

Ryan Butts led Williamsport with a season-high 21 points, 14 coming in the fourth quarter. Christy had 14 and Tyler Wise had 10.

JV: Smithsburg 42-28 (W: Corey Ellis 8; S: Matt Sprecher 11).

Smithsburg 70, Williamsport 57
WILLIAMSPORT (6-8, 4-5)
Jackson 2, Christy 14, Wise 10, Aleshire 6, Butts 21, Fridley 2, C. Myers 2. Totals 23 9-15 57.
SMITHSBURG (12-3, 8-1)
Spickler 0, Springs 31, Hardy 0, Pierre 10, Fortson 24, Hogue 2, Gibson 4, Wynne 1. Totals 23 15-19 72.
Williamsport    16    12    7    22    —    57
Smithsburg    14    10    14    34    —    72
3-point goals—Williamsport 2 (Butts 2); Smithsburg 9 (Springs 3, Pierre 2, Fortson 4). Rebounds—Williamsport 21(Christy 7); Smithsburg 25 (Gibson 5). Turnovers—Williamsport 19, Smithsburg 7. Fouled out—W: Jackson; S: Pierre.

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