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Hedgesville knocks off Preston

March 21, 1997

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Hedgesville's youth brigade is still marching in the Class AAA state tournament.

Behind Shawn Moats' 17 points and Brady Catlett's 13 points and 12 rebounds, Hedgesville beat Preston, 69-50, in a quarterfinal Thursday.

Hedgesville (13-12), with a roster of five sophomores and four juniors, won for the 11th time in 12 games by outrebounding Preston, 43-37, outscoring it 20-10 from the line and outshooting it 44.9 percent to 30 percent.

``Our kids stay in their element,'' said coach Charlie Scott. ``Some of them are good rebounders, some of them are good shooters, some are good defensive players.''

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Preston (12-12) led by as many as nine points in the first half. But Hedgesville launched a 22-2 run straddling intermission to go up 37-26 at 5:56 of the third.

``We were just a faster team,'' Moats said. ``We wore them down as the game went on.''

Next up is Woodrow Wilson, which has six Class AAA titles and 12 championships in all. Hedgesville has never won in Class AAA and hasn't been to the state tournament since 1970, when it won in Class A with a team that featured Catlett's dad, Steve, and his uncle, Mark.

``I think the fans are really loving it that we're in the state tournament,'' Moats said. ``Hopefully, we can bring back a championship. I think we will, to tell you the truth. We've got the momentum.''

Hedgesville, which likes fast-paced basketball, plans to stay in its style against Woodrow Wilson, one of the top fast-breaking programs in state history.

``We're going to put the pedal to the metal with them,'' Scott said. ``Who knows what will happen?''

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