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Eagles soar

March 12, 1999

Hedgesville wins!By DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Correspondent

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - If you judge the Hedgesville boys basketball team by the boxscore of the West Virginia Class AAA, Region II title game, Deter Barrett toiled in mediocrity.

But it wasn't the quantity of Barrett's points - five in all - that mattered. It was the timing.

[cont. from sports page]

Barrett hit a key 3-pointer down the stretch, then hit the game-winning shot with seven seconds to play as the Eagles overcame a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and advanced to the state semifinals with a stunning 60-59 defeat of Keyser in a packed Butcher Center at Shepherd College.

"It was unbelievable ... it was great," Barrett said during the celebration at center court.

Hedgesville (19-4) had to dig out of a gaping hole in the fourth quarter to even throw a celebration.

The Eagles were down 49-35 early in the fourth quarter, thanks in large part to a 4-of-20 shooting performace from 3-point range in the first three quarters. Hedgesville rushed on the offensive end, taking ill-advised shots early and often in their sets.

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"At times, we did lose our concentration," Hedgesville coach Kelly Church said. "That's one of the things that hurt us."

A new quarter brought a new shooting touch. Hedgesville recovered by hitting five straight 3-pointers in a 23-7 fourth quarter run.

The third 3-pointer in the sequence, made by Barrett, brought the Eagles within five, 55-50, and brought the Hedgesville crowd to a fever pitch.

"Kenny kicked the ball out to me, and there was nobody around," Barrett said. "Coach said 'You're open, you shoot it' ... I just shot it."

Ensuing 3s by Shane Moats and Derek Brown cut the Keyser lead to one before Kenny Roberts was fouled on a drive and went to the line for a one-and-one chance.

Roberts calmly hit both free throws with 39 seconds to play, giving Hedgesville its first lead since a 14-13 edge in the first quarter.

"When Kenny hit the foul shots, it was big time," Barrett said. "That right there sparked everybody."

But a defensive lapse allowed Les Jessie to slip behind Hedgesville's trapping press. He scored and drew a foul, but missed the foul shot as Keyser held a 59-58 lead with 13 seconds left.

The stage was set for Barrett.

"I saw a big guy coming out towards me, I just took one dribble (left) and shot," he said of his leaner from the right elbow.

The shot rattled through. After a timeout, Thad Burner put up a 30-foot prayer that hit the backboard and side of the rim - but no net.

"To be honest, I was completely exhausted at the end of the game," Church said. "I tried to do my best to keep my composure and keep my kids composed. The final buzzer sounded, and we won... I couldn't believe it... just total jubilation."

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