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Bulldogs claim region crown

March 08, 2000|By MARK KELLER / Sports Editor

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - It happens all the time in basketball, only Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers wishes it didn't have to happen Tuesday night.

Rogers, his team flat and trailing in the first three minutes of the game, called a timeout and read the Bulldogs the riot act.

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The coach got the desired result from his team as the Bulldogs scored 14 straight points over the next three minutes on their way to a 67-51 win over Hampshire in the Class AAA Region II championship game and a berth in the state tournament at Charleston next week.

"When you're a basketball player and you're ready to play in the regional final, your coach shouldn't have to fire you up," Rogers said. "You ought to be fired up. You ought to be excited. You ought to be ready to play."

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The Bulldogs (17-6), however, were not ready to play. They missed their first five shots from the field and trailed 6-2 when Rogers called for the stoppage in play.

The huddle was not a happy one for Martinsburg.

"He said, 'Look, you've got to get some offensive rebounds and some better looks at the basket,'" said center Kevin Pittsnogle. "We needed more rebounds all together."

"I told them before we came up here, 'If you're not ready to play this game, I don't know why you're putting a uniform on,'" Rogers said. "You challenge them, you try to get them fired up and explain to them that Hampshire's a pretty good basketball team. Sometimes I think they have trouble believing that, but Hampshire proved it tonight."

Pittsnogle immediately got things going in the right direction, scoring on an inside move. Michael Wright made a steal then got the ball back from Ryan Morris for a layup to tie the score, 6-6.

The run continued with baskets from Pittsnogle and Buck Springette. Pittsnogle made a steal and passed ahead to Wright for a layup, forcing Hampshire coach Larry See to use a timeout.

But See's timeout did not have the same effect as Rogers' did. Steals by Morris and Michael Ware led to buckets by Wright and Morris, giving Martinsburg a 16-6 advantage. Thirty seconds after the first timeout, See had to call another.

Martinsburg opened up the lead in the second with a 9-2 run, but the Trojans closed late and trailed 34-26 at halftime.

They got as close as five in the third on a 3-pointer by Travis Delaplain, but an 11-0 Martinsburg run gave the Bulldogs a comfortable cushion to work with the remainder of the game.

Wright had eight of the 11 points in that streak and finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. He said he took Rogers' words during that first-quarter timeout to heart.

"We had to, because he was telling the truth," Wright said. "He said we had to get our act together, or we would be sitting home instead of going to Charleston. We had to shut him up."

Pittsnogle had 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Springette had 13 points and Ware had 10.

 

Martinsburg 67, Hampshire 51




MARTINSBURG (67)

Wright 19, Springette 13, Morris 8, Ware 10, Pittsnogle 16, Wise 1. Totals 27-61 12-17 67.

HAMPSHIRE (51)

Delaplain 21, Haines 2, Lee 8, Riley 9, Allkire 2, Braithwaite 2, Buckley 2, Giffen 5. Totals 21-53 5-8 51.

M'burg20141716-67

H'shire10161015-51

Three-point goals - Martinsburg 1 (Springette), Hampshire 4 (Delaplain 3, Giffen).

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