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Eagles enjoy shootout

December 22, 1999|By MARK KELLER / Sports Editor

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - Given the choice between quality and quantity, Hedgesville boys basketball coach Kelly Church will take quality every time.

Church preached patience to his team Tuesday night, which paid off in quality shots that helped the Eagles to a 66-46 win over Middletown in the Second Annual Ron Engle Holiday Classic.

"For a high school basketball team, our shot selection tonight was pretty darn good," Church said. "Throughout the whole thing, I can only think of two bad shots. You only shoot two bad shots, you've got a pretty good chance of being successful."

There weren't many shots that looked bad all night for the Eagles (1-1). From the first 3-pointer by Brian Clarke to Patrick Ashton's final two free throws, it seemed everything fell for Hedgesville.

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"They ran their offense well and shot the 3s, and their perimeter guys slashed us to pieces," said Middletown coach Tim Leber.

Hedgesville went 9-for-15 from 3-point range and converted 13 of 15 free throws. But it was more when the Eagles took those shots that Church noticed.

"I know a lot of teams would be happy to score 66 points, but we scored those points because we chose to take shots we could make," Church said. "Some teams score 70, 80 points because they shoot a ton of shots. We're not good enough to shoot a ton of shots. We have to shoot smart shots."

The Eagles shot 57 percent (13 of 23) in the first half to take a 35-22 lead at the intermission. Meanwhile, the Knights (2-3) shot 38 percent from the floor in the first half and missed seven straight shots in a scoreless four-minute span.

"It's kind of the same story three straight games," Leber said. "We have a hard time defending people, we don't make any shots and it just snowballs."

Rusty Barrett had 19 points, Ashton had 16 and Clarke had 12 for Hedgesville.

D.J. Costello led Middletown with 12 points.

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