Stoner steps up for Hubs

January 16, 1997


Staff Correspondent

If North Hagerstown basketball coach Tim McNamee had his way, Travis Stoner wouldn't have waited until the fourth quarter to take control of the Hubs' offense.

Stoner penetrated the Francis Scott Key zone defense on numerous occasions in the final period to rally the Hubs to a 57-46 Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory Thursday night.

"We try to use our guards to penetrate as much as possible to open it up for the big men inside," said Stoner. "In the fourth quarter, I sensed the urgency to step it up. The team was slumping, and someone had to step it up to avoid losing at home."


Facing the Eagles' 2-3 zone, North (9-3, 7-2) seemed content to shoot from the outside in the third period. The result was just two field goals for the Hubs, who watched a 32-23 halftime lead completely evaporate in the third period.

Clinging to a one-point lead with 5:34 remaining, Stoner hit a driving 10-footer and a fast-break layup to give North a five-point edge. Brad Stonesifer cut the lead to 49-46, but a driving layup by Stoner forced the Eagles out of their offense. FSK (3-9, 1-7) went scoreless over the final four minutes.

"A lot of our offense comes off our defense," said McNamee. "We didn't play a bad first half, but in the second half, we just stunk. We made some bad decisions against their zone, and we did the same thing against South (Tuesday). We just have to learn to work with it when we get in those situations."

The Hubs had their problems under the boards, giving away significant height and weight to the Eagles, which allowed FSK to get numerous second and third shots.

North held a 13-12 lead late in the first period, then scored 12 straight points before settling for a 32-23 halftime lead. The Eagles scored the first nine points of the third quarter to tie the score 32-32.

"They're bigger overall, and stronger," said McNamee, and that was a big factor. Justin McConnaughey was the key for us. He got some important rebounds in the fourth quarter, and played good defense against a guy four inches taller. It didn't seem like we had it as a team, but he turned it around defensively off the bench."

Stoner and Cornell Keyes finished with 12 points each for North.

Josh Hollman scored 15 points to lead FSK. Stonesifer added 14 and Kevin DeCarlo scored 11.

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