South boys gives coach reason to smile

February 26, 1997


Staff Correspondent

The fact that Bob Starkey was all smiles Tuesday night is not surprising. The reason, however, was somewhat unexpected.

His South Hagerstown boys' basketball dismantled Smithsburg, 63-32, in the final Monocacy Valley Athletic League game of the season for both teams, but there were three other reasons for Starkey's grin.

"We really moved tonight," Starkey said. "Our defense was alive. This is the most alive our defense has been since the first game of the year. We got lots of turnovers, and we didn't give them too many good shots."

With the region playoffs looming later this week, the timing couldn't have been better for the Rebels.

"We probably play the toughest team in the district in the first round," Starkey said about the Rebels' quarterfinal meeting with Wheaton next Monday. "They're quicker than North (Hagerstown) and more physical. We'll go in and hope that we play as good as we can play. If our defense is as alive as it was tonight, I think we'll be all right."


The Rebels' defensive intensity was evident from the outset, as Smithsburg (0-22, 0-18) failed to score for the first 5:36. South (6-16, 4-14), however, was unable capitalize offensively, and the Leopards tied the score at 7-7 with 53 seconds left.

Field goals by Shane Carbaugh and Mike Squibb put South on top 11-7 entering the second quarter.

After a Nate Showman lay up pulled Smithsburg within 11-9 in the opening minute of the second quarter, Squibb, who finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, led the Rebels on a 14-2 run for a 25-11 lead at the half.

Squibb was back at work in the third quarter, scoring five points in a 9-0 Rebels rally to expand the margin to 34-13 with 4:09 remaining.

Outside of two 3-point field goals and a three-point play, the Leopards were unable to string together more than a 2-0 run.

"The bottom line is skills," said Dave Morris of his winless Smithsburg club. "We've been outskilled every night. We struggle catching the ball, we struggle passing the ball, and we struggle shooting the ball. It's been one of those years."

Antoine Becks chipped in 11 points for South. Tyson Sewell topped the Leopards with 10 points.

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