Rebels' run sparks win

February 23, 1999

South vs. MiddletownBy DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Correspondent

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Like his teammates, John Schnebly was frustrated in the locker room.

The South Hagerstown senior had been pushed, bumped, slammed into and beaten up relentlessly by the Middletown defense, and at halftime, the walk off the court was a long one.

Down 25-22 at halftime, the No. 5 Rebels shook off the cobwebs in the third quarter, as Schnebly scored nine of him game-high 27 points in a critical 20-5 third quarter run that lifted South to a 60-50 victory over Middletown on Monday night.

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With the win, South (18-3, 15-2 Monocacy Valley Athletic League) clinched at least a share of the MVAL title. The Rebels can take the title outright with a win today at Smithsburg.


"We came into halftime and we were down, we knew we weren't playing very well..." Schnebly said after the game. "We wanted to come out and just bust their butts."

South took control with a 1-2-1-1 zone press that Middletown (13-9, 13-5) rarely solved. Three foul shots from Schnebly tied the game at 25-25.

A jumper by Frank Linton, a Moot Powell foul shot and consecutive baskets from Schnebly gave South a 32-25 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter.

"We just said we had to start executing a little bit," South coach Bob Starkey said. "They know what we're doing, we have to execute our plays... we got to run and maintain our discipline."

After Middletown's Todd Stanzione hit a jumper and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to cut the lead to two, South ran off another 10-0 run. The spurt included 3-point baskets from Powell and Linton, and gave the Rebels a 42-30 lead.

"Their pressure in the second half was relentless," Middletown coach Tim Leber, a former player and assistant coach under Starkey, said. "That's what their team has thrived on all year. That's what we were expecting to see, and for a stretch, we didn't handle it very well."

Middletown bounced back from a 12-5 first quarter deficit to outscore South 20-10 in the second quarter, thanks to bruising halfcourt defense and at times their own 1-2-1-1 press. D.J. Costello had six of his 13 points in the quarter, and Stanzione added five of his team-high 19 points in the frame.

"Middletown plays good defense, that's the best defense we've seen for a long time," Starkey said. "They've got good physical bodies, and they fight you where you want to go."

"They play real physical, and they're tough to beat."

Middletown committed 25 turnovers to South's 22, but South capitalized in transition to slam the door on the Knights.

"...We gave up too many points in the open court," Leber said. "That was the difference of the game. Their pressure creates lots of opportunities for them.

"They're not 18-3 for no reason at all, they're a good, hard-nosed team."

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