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Rebels run past Leopards

March 04, 1999

South vs. SmithsburgBy MARK KELLER / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




One might have expected the South Hagerstown boys basketball team to be looking past Wednesday's meeting Smithsburg to Friday's Class 1A West title game. Even Rebels' coach Bob Starkey admitted he was.

[cont. from sports page]

"Oh, we were looking past. I told these guys, 'I know it's easy for me to say don't look past (Smithsburg),'" Starkey said. "But I've been thinking about them, I've been scouting them; you guys were at the (Southern Garrett-Williamsport) game last night. Sure we're looking past them. But we're also smart enough to know, 'What's the score right now?'"

The Rebels responded, "0-0." And at that point, Starkey knew the Rebels would be fine.

South responded with a 25-point first quarter, forcing eight Smithsburg turnovers in the period on its way to a 95-59 win over the Leopards in a foul-filled 1A West semifinal game at North Hagerstown.

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South (22-3) will try for its second consecutive region title Friday against Southern Garrett at Northern Garrett High School. The Rams beat Hancock 57-44 in Wednesday's other semifinal.

Once the Rebels got rolling in the first quarter, there was little doubt they would be making the trip to far-western Maryland. Smithsburg led the game twice - first on a Ryan Showman 3-pointer off the opening tip, then finally at 7-6. A pair of free throws and a 3-pointer by Frankie Linton gave South the lead for good with 4 minutes, 39 seconds left in the quarter.

Linton's free throws began a 19-6 run that put South in front 25-13 at the end of the period. The Leopards (8-16) pulled within 10 points twice in the second quarter before South began a seemingly endless procession to the free-throw line.

The Rebels went to the stripe 16 times in the second period and attempted 40 free throws for the game. Five players (three from Smithsburg, two from South) fouled out in a game in which 52 fouls were called.

"It wasn't a real rough game," Starkey said. "I think the officials might have sensed that this game could get wild, so they called it close - which is fine, I'm glad they did call it as close as they did."

John Schnebly had 25 points and seven rebounds, Mike Lee had 19 points and seven rebounds and Linton had 18 points and 11 assists for the Rebels. Mike Squibb (nine points, nine rebounds) and Dominique Richmond (11 points) made solid contributions off the bench.

Mark Hutzell led Smithsburg with 10 points.

"We knew there would be some sunshine coming from somewhere this year," said Smithsburg coach Dave Morris. "The off-season starts (today), we have everybody back but one, so we're going to be OK. We're ready to get to work, into the summer leagues and get ready for next year."

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