Knights are winners in Main event

February 08, 1997


Staff Correspondent

Trailing by three points with just over two minutes left in the game Friday night, the Middletown Knights looked to the player who has delivered for them in so many clutch situations - their Main man.

Matt Main drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key, then scored on a backdoor play with 1:20 left to give the Knights the lead for good in a 55-52 victory over host North Hagerstown in a critical Monocacy Valley Athletic League battle.

Middletown (13-5, 12-2) remains percentage points behind Williams- port in the race for the MVAL title. The Hubs (13-4, 10-3) trail the Wildcats by 11/2 games in the standings.


Main, Middletown's leading scorer at 15.9 points per game, was held scoreless in the first half by a relentless man-to-man defense by the Hubs. But he turned it on with 16 points in the second half, 10 in the decisive fourth quarter.

"Throughout his career, Matt has had the knack for coming up with the big plays down the stretch," Middletown coach Tim Leber said. "We knew this was going to be a war tonight, and it's a real nice win for our guys. They worked hard to get it."

After a 3-pointer from the right corner by Main put Middletown ahead 47-44, the Hubs scored six straight to grab a three-point lead of their own with 3:48 to play. Mike Main hit a 15-footer for the Knights, but Travis Stoner answered at the other end, slashing down the lane for a layup.

With 2:10 remaining, Matt Main launched a 3-pointer from the top of the circle. The ball bounced from the front of the rim to the back before rattling through to tie the score at 52-52.

After North missed two chances on the offensive end, Danny Nicholson found Main breaking for the basket and hit him with the backdoor pass, which Main converted into a two-point Middletown lead.

The Knights made it a three-point game on a free throw by Justin Brandenburg with 17 seconds to go. North worked the ball for the final shot to tie, but Stoner's 3-point attempt with three seconds left rimmed out.

"We haven't been in a close game in a while, and to beat a team of that caliber, you have to execute as well or better than they do," said North coach Tim McNamee. "It was a great ball game, but we would like to have been on the other end."

The loss did not diminish a gutsy performance by the Hubs, whose starting five combined to play all but four minutes of the game.

Cornell Keyes led North with 14 points, Richie Pantophlet added 13 and Devin Carey had 10.

Mike Main also scored 16 points for the Knights.

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