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Hedgesville holds off Jefferson

December 27, 1998|By DAN SPEARS

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Normally, the two-minute warning brings out a prevent defense, which eventually lets the other team score. In Saturday's version, the Hedgesville defense came up with all the big plays.

The Eagles used a 14-0 run in the final two minutes of the first half to open a big lead, then escaped a furious Jefferson rally for a 59-49 victory in the semifnals of the Blue Ridge Bank Shootout at Shepherd College.

Hedgesville will play Martinsburg in the final Monday night at 9. The Bulldogs beat Musselman, 57-40.

Leading 20-18 with 2:30 left in the first half, Hedgesville (5-0) began its run with back-to-back 3-pointers by D.D. Barrett and Kenny Roberts, then got eight straight from Brady Catlett to make it a 34-18 game at the break.

"A total letdown," Jefferson head coach Eric Fagan said. "And I'm not too sure how it happened. They got a couple of layins, and just seemed to deflate us."

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Catlett went on to score the Eagles' first eight points of the second half - 16 straight altogether - for a 42-26 lead.

But Jefferson (2-2) stared taking advantage of sloppy Hedgesville play, and capped a 12-4 run with a Damon McDowell 3-pointer to make it a 46-41 game.

But the Cougars ran out of gas after that, and watched the Eagles hit 7 of 12 free throws over a 1:11 span to put it out of reach. Josh Cenate was the only Cougar in double figures with 10.

Roberts had a game-high 22 for the Eagles, and Catlett finished with 20, but Church thought he saw too much in the second half as well.

"In the first half, they were playing good defense, being scrappy," Hedgesville coach Kelly Church said. "I was proud to be their coach. In the second half, I wasn't so proud to be their coach."

It was the other way around for Martinsburg's Vic Holmes. The Bulldogs (4-0) led by only three at the break before roaring out in the second half, outscoring the Applemen 15-4 in the third quarter to essentially end the game.

"We came out not focused and made a lot of mistakes, and they did all the good things," Holmes said. "But we came around in the second half and found our places."

Even though the Applemen (0-3) lost their way in the second half, coach Guy Sharp knew it was coming.

"We can't match up with them, and we knew that coming in," Sharp said. "But we knew we had to exploit what we could.''

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