Ahead 21-16, Williamsport turned the basketball over on three consecutive occasions and Clear Spring converted to take a 22-21 lead with 26 seconds remaining in the half on a putback by Spencer Schultz.
The Blazers led 24-21 at halftime, closing the second quarter on an 8-0 run.
“We shot horribly in the first part of the first half,” Clear Spring coach Ryan Grabill said. “We just kept persevering when things weren’t going well.”
Williamsport (0-3, 0-1) took a 26-24 lead early in the third quarter on two free throws by Riley Arnone.
Freshman Michael Riley tied it at 26-all with a bucket at the 5:05 mark and then hit two free throws when Williamsport’s Sterling Christy was hit for a technical foul for hanging on the rim after missing a dunk, at the time his fourth personal foul.
Ryan Crabtree hit a 3-pointer that gave Williamsport a 29-28 lead, before the Blazers answered with a 6-0 run for a 35-29 lead.
Two turnovers helped Williamsport on the way back to a 41-40 lead on baskets by Crabtree and Arnone. Later, Collin Schultz hit two free throws for a 47-45 Clear Spring lead with 2:52 remaining.
The Blazers never lost the lead, going to the free throw line for nine of its last 11 points.
Williamsport had opportunities to stay with Clear Spring late in the final quarter but made only 6 of 12 shots at the foul line.
“We didn’t make plays when we had to,” Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray said. “When we had to we didn’t make a defensive play, offensive play or a free throw.”
Clear Spring (3-0, 1-0) shot only 34 percent in the first half but improved by game’s end to 47 percent.
“Our focus was to stop Sterling (Christy) and I thought we guarded him well,” Grabill said. “I’m proud of the kids, that are young, on a night when we did not shoot our best.”
Riley showed he’ll be a name to be reckoned with in the next 3 1/2 years. He led the Blazers with 18 points, and played a tough all-around game.
Ryan Aaron contributed 11 points, nine from the free throw line and seven down the stretch.
“Michael Riley was tremendous for us tonight, and Aaron did what a senior is suppose to do, make key free throws,” Grabill said.
Nick Johnson led Williamsport with 18 points and fought his way to grab 14 rebounds as Williamsport held a 33-27 advantage on the boards.
“(Clear Spring) had a good game plan,” Mowbray said. “They were physical with Sterling.”
Christy, who eventually fouled out with 7:17 remaining in the game, had only four points and one rebound. Crabtree had 13 points and Arnone hit for 11.
JV: Williamsport, 53-45 (W: Mike Kelbaugh 16; CS: Spencer Schultz 11).
Clear Spring 58, Williamsport 54
CLEAR SPRING (3-0, 1-0)
Jrd. Brant 2, Elwood 3, Quilici 9, Riley 18, Aaron 11, Schultz 8, Moser 2, Jak Brant 5. Totals 20 15-20 58.
WILLIAMSPORT (0-3, 0-1)
Crabtree 13, Arnone 11, Christy 4, Johnson 18, Seibert 8. Totals 19 13-23 54.
Clear Spring 7 17 13 21 — 58
Williamsport 12 9 12 21 — 54
3-point goals—Clear Spring 3 (Quilici, Riley, Jk. Brant); Williamsport 3 (Crabtree 3). Fouled out—W: Christy, Cross. Technical—W: Christy.