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Girls Basketball: Barnhart sparks Blazers to victory

February 16, 2012|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent
  • Clear Spring and Hancock players try to haul in the ball in the first quarter of Thursday's game in Hancock.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HANCOCK — The Hancock girls basketball team had an opportunity to finish the regular season with a .500 record by winning its final two games, but turnovers, cold shooting and Clear Spring’s Jess Barnhart prevented that from  happening.

Barnhart led the Blazers to a 57-33 win over Hancock Thursday night behind a 28-point performance.

“(Barnhart) had a bad outing in our last game,” Clear Spring coach Adam Hoopengardner said. “She was determined to not have another bad game.”

Clear Spring (5-17) led for the majority of the game and its defense put the clamps down on the Panthers’ offense. Hancock had its share of shooting woes and turned the ball over 31 times.

“It’s been the same issues all season: We need to take care of the ball and rebound,” Hancock coach Todd Ruppenthal said.

Adding insult to injury, the Panthers (9-12) shot just 20 percent (5-for-25) from the charity stripe compared to Clear Spring’s 57.8 percent (11-for-19).

The Blazers’ defense didn’t allow Hancock to break double digits in any quarter and took control of the game in the closing minutes of the first half.

Clear Spring closed out the second quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 33-18 halftime lead, then carried the momentum into the second half by starting the third quarter on a 6-1 run.

“It was an overall good team win tonight,” Hoopengardner said. “We came out relaxed and everyone contributed.”

The difference in the game, according to Ruppenthal, was the work ethic.

“I give credit to Clear Spring, they worked harder than us,” Ruppenthal stated. “They controlled the game and outworked us.”

Joan Leavy had nine points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Panthers, while Sara Wagner had 11 boards and Lyndsey Himes finished with seven blocked shots.

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