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Eagles clip Cougars in sectional

March 06, 1997

By BOB PARASILITI

Staff Writer

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia Class AAA, Region II, Section 1 semifinal came down to a battle of right and wrong.

Hedgesville did just about everything right and Jefferson did just enough wrong.

Hedgesville's program took another huge step forward Wednesday night with a balanced scoring attack and an opportunistic press in a 77-71 victory at Shepherd College's Butcher Athletic Center.

It was the Eagles' first sectional victory since the 1980s.

"This was just a super win for the kids," said an ecstatic Charlie Scott. "We had another kid come to the surface today. It was just a case of getting mentally right at the right time and cutting down on mistakes."

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Hedgesville (10-12), which started the season 1-10, moved into Friday's Region II final against Martinsburg on the strength of a 8-0 run which opened the second half. The Eagles led 35-33 at the break, but took control behind the quickness of point guard Kenny "L'il Penny" Roberts, who scored four points in the rally.

"L'il Penny did a great job," Scott said. "Curtis (Richards) and Byron (Reed) stepped up and Brady (Catlett) made a huge play on an out-of-bounds play to hit a key 3 for us. Look back on all those things. We scored five times on out of bounds plays, two of them were 3s. That's huge and it all counts up."

Catlett led Hedgesville with 21 points and Shane Moats added 17. Roberts and Reed had 13 each.

As well as Hedgesville played, it still couldn't put Jefferson (9-13) away. The Cougars fell behind by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but still challenged in the end.

Jefferson used a 9-0 run during the last 3:30 to pull within 76-71 with 16 seconds remaining. The Cougars fouled to put Hedgesville at the line. The Eagles failed to convert the foul shots, but were able to get the rebounds to protect the lead.

"The last 16 seconds was the epitome of what we did all year," Jefferson coach John Lowery said. "We didn't box out on the free throws and then we threw the ball away when we got down the floor. We just couldn't get over the hump."

Mackie Smith scored 21 points for the Cougars.

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