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North wins Round 1 of City Series

January 30, 2001

North wins Round 1 of City Series



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

North vs. SouthBefore Monday night's city series boys basketball game at South, the public address announcer told a crowd of almost 1,200 that this would be the last North-South game before the renovation of the school's fieldhouse.

The Hubs and Rebels made sure it was memorable for what happened on the court, too.

North's Nate Naylor made the first of two free throws with 4 seconds to play to bust a tie game, and the Hubs survived Domonique Richmond's 3-point attempt at the buzzer for a 63-62 victory that solidified their standing atop the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

"We didn't make as many free throws as I'd have liked, but (Nate) made the one," North coach Tim McNamee said. "That was enough."

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A 9-1 run to close the game was just barely enough for the No. 6 Hubs (14-1, 10-1). No. 4 South (10-3, 8-2) had taken a 61-53 lead on Mike Lee's rebound basket with 3 minutes, 54 seconds to play, only to watch it all vanish.

"I thought we had it. We were up," said Lee, who finished with a game-high 26 points and 16 rebounds. "Then we got out of control."

North's halfcourt speed and pressure were too much when the Rebels didn't have Richmond on the court, including a 3-minute span in the fourth quarter when he had four fouls. The Rebels survived for awhile without the junior point guard, but eventually collapsed.

"That was big," South coach Bob Starkey said. "We really struggled getting the ball up the floor."

A problem the Hubs certainly didn't have early. North transitioned the Rebels into the ground, grabbing loose balls and rebounds and chucking passes downcourt to open players on the way to a 22-8 and 30-14 leads.

"We wanted the uptempo, we pride ourselves on being able to do that," said North guard Scott Rice, who finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds. "We hate slowing down, but I think we came out a little too fired up and got tired."

The Rebels responded with Lee. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound senior scored four points in an 11-2 run to close the first half, then took off in the third quarter. An assortment of post moves and offensive rebounds resulted in 11 points in the frame, and South got its own transition game in gear on the way to a 14-3 run and a 47-43 lead after three quarters.

"Mike was tremendous tonight," Starkey said. "He did a heck of a job."

Meanwhile, everything that worked early for North stopped being effective. The Hubs were only 4-for-20 from the field in the third quarter, as layups and jumpers rolled in and then out.

"We got the tempo we wanted," McNamee said. "We won't play any different. We just got tired and they caught up."

The Rebels just couldn't stay there without Richmond. They had four turnovers in the three minutes without him, and watched a three-point lead turn into a 62-61 deficit.

Richmond had a chance to get the lead back when he was fouled with 1:24 to play. He made the first free throw, but his second rimmed out and the Hubs played for one shot. Rice drove the lane, discarded defender Nick Maas to draw the defense and found Naylor open, where he was fouled.

"Scott stepped up; he and Mike Rodgers," McNamee said. "When things were getting tough, (Rice) was the first one in the huddle, saying, 'I want to defend whoever.' I was real happy we just had something left."

Naylor's make was followed by the final blood-curdling scream from the North student section, which cheered every basket as if it were the last on earth. His miss was followed by a timeout, a ball knocked out of bounds at midcourt and two more timeouts to set up the final play.

"We had two options: the first was to get it to Domonique ... and the other was to screen up for Danny Fowler," Starkey said. "But they double-teamed Dom and were in the middle, so that took away the other option."

Actually, North triple-teamed Richmond, but he still wriggled around them to get off a shot from 24 feet on the left wing. The ball hit the front of the rim, curled around and hit the back of the rim, bounced off the backboard, hit the rim again, and fell away - setting off a rush of the court by the North student section and the exasperated throwing of green rally towels from South fans.

"We did a good job on (Richmond). You can't stop him game in and game out, but we ... wanted to make him beat us by shooting," McNamee said. "But that last one, I thought it was in."

Naylor finished with a team-high 18 points for North, while Evan Medley had 11 and Tavis Green added 10.

"This is huge, with the rivalry, with the MVAL, with our area ranking," Rice said. "This puts a lot of confidence in us the rest of the way."

For the Rebels, Richmond had 11 points, but not three more at the end that South desperately needed.

"I'd like to play (North) every time. You don't have to worry about funks," Starkey said. "And I enjoyed the game while it was playing, but not now."

No. 6 North 63, No. 4 South 62



NORTH HAGERSTOWN (63)

Rice 16, Rodgers 2, Naylor 18, Medley 11, Green 10, Watters 6. Totals 26-75 10-22 63.

SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (62)

Fowler 5, Maas 5, Barrish 3, Richmond 11, Suttle 2, Gibson 6, Jeter 4, Lee 26. Totals 25-60 11-20 62.

North18141120-63

South8172215-62

Three-point goals-North 1 (Medley), South 1 (Richmond).

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