Williamsport rolls past Havre de Grace, 74-54 Second-quarter burst finishes off Warriors

March 09, 1996|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Williamsport took out five years of state tournament frustration on an unsuspecting Havre de Grace squad, coasting to a 74-54 victory in a Class 1A semifinal last night at Cole Field House.

The Warriors (18-6), ranked No. 10 in the metro area, were in the game for a quarter, but had no answer for a 25-9 pounding that included four three-pointers during a second-quarter blitz. The Wildcats (22-5), backed by their first 20-win season since 1969, will face Cambridge-South Dorchester in today's championship game at 1 p.m. Williamsport won its only championship in 1948, but it was the modern history that was rubbing a sore spot raw. The team had lost four semifinal games in the past five years, and senior twins Brad and Alan Moore were trying for a third straight time.

"People at home were calling me Bud Grant and Marv Levy [referring to two NFL coaches who coached in, but never won, Super Bowls], and, frankly, I was beginning to get tired of it," said Kevin Murphy, in his 19th season as coach.

"I think the kids were getting tired of it, too. They were hearing it at school -- 'Won the regional again, but couldn't win in College Park, huh.'

"The experience in playing here that Brad and Alan gave us, plus Andy Artz (a 6-foot-6 junior), who was a sixth man last year, made a big difference. They were keyed up, but it was a positive thing."

Of the second quarter, he said, "The kids played great -- handled pressure, got good shots, and played well on defense. If you do those things, you figure to do well."

George Leonard could appreciate this. The Havre de Grace coach brought a Warriors team to the semifinals for the first time since 1988. "We'd never been to this level before, and that first time makes a difference. I think we got caught up in the atmosphere.

"We had one of our worst games -- did not play well on defense. In that second quarter, when they hit those threes, we didn't recognize the shooter." Williamsport hit five first-half treys, including three by Brad Moore in the last five minutes of the quarter after Alan had made two. The Wildcats' defense was led by 5-9 senior guard Rich Porac, whose father, Rich, played in this arena as a starting guard for the University of Maryland in the mid-1970s. "His dad couldn't play defense like Richie," Murphy said. "We give Richie the other team's best player. He's used to that pressure."

As has been its season-long trademark, Williamsport had the Moores and Artz in double figures, topped by Alan Moore with 16. Billy Jackson led the Warriors with 17.

Williamsport set the tone with an 11-0 run midway through the first quarter, good for a 15-8 lead. Three straight Jackson baskets, including a three-pointer, got the Warriors within 19-15.

Jackson, a 5-9 guard in the Warriors' all-senior starting alignment, made it four straight baskets to open the second quarter, but for the next six minutes it was all Wildcats.

WILLIAMSPORT -- A. Moore 16, Secrest 6, Artz 15, Porac 9, B. Moore 11, Tritsch 4, Brown 3, Trieu 4, Trumpower 2, Turner 2, Ritchie 2. Totals 22 25-33 74.

HAVRE DE GRACE -- Sawyer 9, Bramwell 3, Gross 12, Jackson 17, Clark 10, Mann 3. Totals 19 11-18 54. Halftime: Williamsport, 44-24

Cambridge-South Dorchester 73, Brunswick 63 (OT): Cambridge-South Dorchester (24-1) cranked up its game for the last 1: 25 of overtime and clinched a Class 1A semifinal triumph over Brunswick (15-12) at Cole Field House.

The Vikings got four baskets (plus one foul shot) from as many different players, and controlled the backboards in putting the game out of reach. Brunswick's Charlie McLane had hit an open shot from the foul line with four seconds left in regulation to force the extra four-minute session.

Hanee Camper, a 6-4 guard and one of two senior starters for the winners, had 31 points (13-for-27 from the field) and 14 rebounds. McLane led the Railroaders with 23 points.

BRUNSWICK -- McLane 23, Nelson 9, Ropollo 16, Stull 6, Hartman 4, King 2, Dozier 3. Totals 21 17-22 63.

CAMBRIDGE-SOUTH DORCHESTER -- Perry 2, Camper 31, Chester 10, Woolford 1, King 9, Anderson 9, Lake 3, White 8. Totals 30 11-22 73.

Halftime: 25-25. End of regulation: 56-56

Pub Date: 3/09/96

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