WILLIAMSPORT —This time, the defense never rested.
Williamsport and Greencastle-Antrim did much of their work without the ball to make things all the easier once they had it.
Williamsport stopped Mountain Ridge cold, holding the Miners to three points in the first and fourth periods on Friday to run off with a 51-30 victory in the nightcap of the 32nd annual Richard E. Doub Classic at Williamsport High School.
The Wildcats followed the lead set by the Blue Devils — who tied up Broadfording for a 75-63 victory — to claim their spot in Saturday night’s championship game, scheduled for 7 p.m. Broadfording and Mountain Ridge will play the consolation game at 5.
* The Wildcats (2-4) were cold and calculating when it came to giving the Miners (4-3) the shaft.
“From the onset, our halfcourt defense was very good,” said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. “We did an excellent job communicating and limiting them to one shot ... and when they got one, it was contested.”
It made life a lot easier for the offense, which was deliberate in its attack.
Mountain Ridge took a 3-1 lead on a Steven Glasbrenner 3-pointer at the 6:35 mark of the first quarter. It was the Miners’ only lead of the game.
Williamsport countered with a 17-0 run over the next seven minutes to take an 18-3 advantage. Nick Johnson scored six of his 10 points, while Sterling Christy ran the offense.
“(Christy) did a good job managing the game,” Mowbray said. “He was patient. He distributed the ball well and controlled the flow of the offense.”
From there, it was just a matter of how much the Wildcats would win by.
Williamsport led 28-11 at the half before Mountain Ridge mounted a 14-6 run to start the third quarter to cut it to 34-25.
After a timeout, Williamsport regained control and limited the Miners to five points over the last 11 minutes.
Christy led the Wildcats with 21 points. Glasbrenner finished with 10 to lead Mountain Ridge.
* In the opener, it was a matter of Greencastle’s game catching up with the rest of the team.
Call it bus-lag or just a slow start, but the Blue Devils needed to take a break at halftime to find their way back to the championship game.
Greencastle (6-2) used a 20-3 run over a 5:43 period bridging the third and fourth quarters to land the knockout punch on Broadfording (11-4) in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
“Honestly, it was a matter of us starting to play together as a team,” said Greencastle coach Gary Martin. “Our energy wasn’t there and as we were warming up, we were in slow motion. In the second half, we played a lot better.”
It started with better defense and spun over with slashing moves to the basket, led by Joel Zola, who topped the Blue Devils with 27 points. In the meantime, Greencastle did a decent job restricting the movements of Broadfording’s Mawdo Sallah, who finished with 26 but was ineffective in the first half.