By MARK KELLER
11:29 PM EST, January 9, 2013
The Williamsport boys basketball team was 1-for-2 in achieving its goals Tuesday night against Catoctin.
That pretty much matched the Wildcats’ performance from the free throw line.
The Wildcats beat winless Catoctin 61-39 in an MVAL Antietam matchup, allowing them to place a check mark next to their first goal.
Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray gave his team an incomplete on the second goal.
“Our goals each game are to get the win and be better than we were the game before,” Mowbray said. “We didn’t do that tonight. We were lethargic and we can’t do that. The lackluster energy — that isn’t typical of the way we’ve been playing.”
Mowbray was especially critical of the team’s free throw shooting. The Wildcats (4-5, 3-3) made just 12 of 27 free throws on the night, which made it more difficult to put away the scrappy Cougars.
Of 11 multiple-shot opportunities at the line, the Wildcats made multiple shots only once.
“The games we’ve lost this year have been because we didn’t shoot free throws,” Mowbray said. “Fortunately, we were able to knock a few down at the end that helped us extend the lead.”
Williamsport was strong defensively, as Catoctin had no answer for the inside presence of Sterling Christy and Nick Johnson. The Cougars (0-9, 0-6) made just 12 field goals in the game — six from 3-point range — and had none in the last six minutes of the game.
That drought enabled the Wildcats to stretch a 45-36 lead out to 58-38 with 1:45 left in the game in spite of their struggles from the foul line.
“Defensively, I thought we were pretty decent tonight,” Mowbray said. “And I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but we have to hit our free throws. If we do that, we’re not bad.”
Christy finished with a relatively quiet 22 points, a season high, to lead the Wildcats. He gave Williamsport its first bit of a cushion at the end of a back-and-forth first quarter by banking in a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 14-7 lead.
The Wildcats tried to run away in the second, extending the lead to as many as 16 points before a 3-pointer from Mark Speak cut Catoctin’s deficit to 30-17 just before the half.
The Cougars hung around in the third as Alex Kennedy scored 10 of his 17 points, but then went ice cold in the fourth quarter.
Nick Johnson added 11 points and Ben Seibert had 10 for the Wildcats.
Williamsport 61, Catoctin 39
CATOCTIN (0-9, 0-6)
Jenkins 4, Smith 2, Laramore 9, Speak 7, Kennedy 17. Totals 12 9-13 39.
WILLIAMSPORT (4-5, 3-3)
Crabtree 6, Arnone 6, Christy 22, Cross 1, Morris 2, Johnson 11, Screiver 3, Seibert 10. Totals 23 12-27 61.
Catoctin 7 10 15 7 — 39
Williamsport 14 16 14 17 — 61
3-point goals — Catoctin 6 (Laramore 2, Speak, Kennedy 3), Williamsport 3 (Crabtree 2, Christy).
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