Eagles get a victory for 'free'

December 22, 1998

Hedgesville over MiddletownBy MARK KELLER / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - Hedgesville lived by the 3-pointer this season, hitting 29 from long range in its first two games.

Monday night, the Eagles had to find a way to live without the 3-pointer. They found it at the free throw line.

Hedgesville outshot Middletown 38-6 from the stripe and made 14 of 20 in the fourth quarter as the Eagles pulled away for a 71-60 win over Middletown at the Ron Engle Holiday Classic.

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The Eagles (3-0) made only two 3-pointers on the night and didn't shoot particularly well from the foul line as a team, hitting on just 23 of 38 (61 percent). But Kenny Roberts hit 10 of 11 foul shots in the final period and 12 of 13 for the game. He finished with 21 points.


"It's great to have a player like him that you can go to at the end of the game and know it's going to be automatic when he goes to the line," said Hedgesville coach Kelly Church. "That's a good feeling to have."

It was also Roberts who helped open up a tight game in the fourth. The Eagles led 56-53 with 3 minutes, 38 seconds remaining when Roberts made a steal, drove to the other end of the court and made a layup while being fouled. Roberts hit the free throw, then made one of two on Hedgesville's next possession for a 60-53 lead.

Until then, neither team led by more than five points.

"That's been a characteristic of this team," said Middletown coach Tim Leber. "I've really been impressed with the way we compete. That's four games in seven nights for us, and it's hard to keep the intensity up. But they've done it."

The Knights got back to 64-60, but Roberts hit four more throws and Shane Moats had three points for the Eagles to close the scoring. Moats had 18 points and Brady Catlett led all scorers with 22.

For the Knights, Jared Ambrose had a career-high 21 points. D.J. Costello had 16 points and nine rebounds. Brad Conn had a career-high 11 assists.

Todd Stanzione, who scored more than 20 points in each of Middletown's first five games, was held to nine points.

"I thought we didn't play as hard in the first half as we did in the second, but maybe that's because some of our shots started falling in the second half," Church said.

"We want to play against good players and play games that will help us get better," Leber said. "The bottom line is we're getting better. We're so much better now than we were two weeks ago."

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