BOONSBORO —If Friday’s game was Fear Factor, the Boonsboro boys basketball team would have won.
“We scared them, but scaring isn’t good enough,” said Boonsboro coach Skip Chambers.
Instead, because it came down to scoring hoops instead of eating spiders, the Warriors came out on the short end. In far from its prettiest performance, Williamsport used its defense to build a 15-point lead and then held on for a 48-36 MVAL Antietam victory.
“You got to give credit where credit is due,” said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. “Boonsboro was scrappy and they played hard. We were out of sync offensively tonight, but you have to give Boonsboro credit for that.”
The Wildcats (5-5, 4-3) did just enough through the first three quarters to make it look like it was going to be an easy win. But the Warriors (5-7, 3-4) made the loudest noise in the fourth quarter to make Williamsport wobble a bit before putting the game away.
“My kids played their tails off,” said Chambers. “I didn’t check out turnovers, but we had too many early. When you’re playing a good team, you can’t do that.”
Williamsport was on the verge of making the game an early blowout as its defense suffocated the Warriors, forcing them into miscues and bad shots.
But on offense, the Wildcats played like new furniture — they stood still and had no finish. Many shots rolled off the rim as Boonsboro played an aggressive 2-1-2 press to slow the tempo.
Still, the Wildcats scored just enough.
Williamsport led 13-9 after one quarter before reeling off a 9-4 run to start the second period to take a 22-11 lead with 1:30 remaining before intermission. Sterling Christy scored four points in the run.
Boonsboro scored five points in the final 90 seconds, capped by Scott Bennett’s 3 from near halfcourt at the buzzer, to trail 22-16 at halftime.
“For three quarters, we played super defense,” Mowbray said. “You take away that 3 at the end and we allowed just 13 points in the first half and only gave up 20 for three quarters. But in the fourth quarter, we got satisfied.”
Williamsport held Boonsboro to just four points in the third period. The Wildcats scored the first seven of the second half to build a 29-16 lead. They scored the final four of the quarter — the last on a Nick Johnson layup off a pass from Ben Seibert — for a 35-20 lead.
Then, the Warriors got inspired and the Wildcats got sloppy to make things interesting.
Williamsport tried to milk the clock in the fourth quarter but got careless, allowing Boonsboro to mount a comeback to get within 42-36 with 1:47 remaining as Bennett hit his third 3 for the last of his game-high 19 points.
“We played some different lineups in the game, but even when we had our first group in, we turned the ball over twice and we missed foul shots,” Mowbray said. “Someday, that’s going to bite us in the butt.”
Williamsport scored the final six points of the game, starting with a Riley Arnone drive, to score a deceiving 12-point win.
“We did some different stuff and the kids never quit,” Chambers said. “We don’t have enough scorers. We tried to get good looks and hold them to one-and-done. We had our chances but didn’t execute down the stretch.”
Arnone led Williamsport with 13 points, while Christy finished with 12 and Seibert added 10. Bennett was the only Warrior to reach double figures.
“We are tickled to be 5-5 after starting 0-4,” Mowbray said.
Williamsport 48, Boonsboro 36
WILLIAMSPORT (5-5, 4-3)
Crabtree 4, Arnone 13, Christy 12, Morris 2, Johnson 7, Seibert 10. Totals 16 15-23 48.
BOONSBORO (5-7, 3-4)
Cowden 2, Jardeleza 6, Saunders 3, Strunk 2, Wetzel 2, Bennett 19, Coulter 2. Totals 14 4-4 36,
Williamsport 13 9 13 13 — 48
Boonsboro 7 9 4 16 — 36
3-point goals — Williamsport 1 (Arnone), Boonsboro 4 (Bennett 3, Saunders). Flagrant foul — Walsh (B). Fouled out — Walsh (B).