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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Blairsville boys keep pace with Homer-Center

by ERIK KORMOS For The Indiana Gazette on January 15, 2014 10:34 AM

BLAIRSVILLE — Blairsville’s Troy Williams scored 20 points to lead the Bobcats to a 65-32 win over Ligonier Valley in a Heritage Conference boys’ basketball game Tuesday night.

Blairsville improved to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference and kept pace with first-place Homer-Center (12-1, 7-0), which routed Northern Cambria on Tuesday night. Ligonier Valley fell to 4-7 and 3-3.

Utilizing an effective full-court press from the opening tip, the Bobcats limited the Rams to one first-quarter field goal. Blairsville never trailed and built a 9-3 lead after the first quarter.

The Rams’ shooting woes continued in the second period as Blairsville’s lead increased to 28-15 at halftime. The Bobcats build their lead with several easy transition buckets off turnovers created by the 2-2-1 press.

“It was important to establish our press early,” first-year Bobcats coach Mark DeMarines said. “We didn’t want them to get into a rhythm offensively.”

Ligonier Valley continued to struggle to break the Bobcats’ press in the second half. Blairsville outscored the Rams 27-9 in the third quarter to take a 55-24 lead into the final quarter.

“In the third quarter we were able to get a lot of easy transition buckets,” DeMarines said. “Our press was working well.”

Williams, a 6-foot-2 junior, converted 6 of 7 free throws and led the scoring.

Colton McMillan added 10 points for the Bobcats.

The Rams were led by Collin Smith’s 10 points, while Jordan Jones contributed nine.

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