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North sweeps South

February 10, 2001|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

North sweeps South



Nick Maas stood at midcourt with his arms folded across his chest. The expression on his face told the whole story.

Mike Lee, the horse that the No. 5 South Hagerstown boys basketball team had been riding all evening, had just been whistled for two personal fouls in seven seconds, forcing his exit for the remainder of the contest; a contest that likely decided the Monocacy Valley Athletic League championship, and in the end determined city bragging rights for North Hagerstown.

The No. 2 Hubs went on to score 12 of the next 14 points, cruising to a 70-62 win to claim a one-game lead in the MVAL and also sweep the city series.

In the first game of the doubleheader, North's girls gradually pulled away from a foul-plagued Rebels team for a 72-50 victory, to also sweep the series.

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Nate Naylor, at 6-feet, 150 pounds took full advantage of Lee's foul trouble - created by a charging call on the previous possession - by driving the lane and forcing South's almost-300-pound center to commit the infraction that forced his exit at the 6:24 mark of the fourth quarter.

"I was getting ready to take (Lee) out. I was just so upset on the call at the other end (Lee's fourth foul), and that he didn't pass the ball," said South coach Bob Starkey. "I was not thinking clearly at that time."

"I knew he had four fouls," said Naylor. "I was going to keep going at him until he got the fifth foul. Coach (Tim McNamee) told me to take it to him, and that's what I did."

Until that point, neither team had been able to establish control of the game - which saw seven ties and 10 lead changes - due primarily to the defensive intensity at both ends of the floor.

North (17-2, 13-2), behind Scott Rice and Evan Medley, managed to sneak away to a seven-point margin midway through the third, but the Rebels (14-4, 12-3) rode 3s from Danny Fowler and Domonique Richmond, and a Fowler jumper - all within a two-minute span - to retake the lead, 47-46.

A Naylor tip-in and Tavis Green's 17-footer with four seconds left in the third period gave the Hubs a two-point margin entering the final eight minutes.

"We pretty much took away their break," said McNamee. "They didn't get many 2-on-1 or 3-on-1 breaks. They're a streaky team - a lot like us - and if you can stop them from doing that, you'll be all right."

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> In the opener, North's superior depth allowed the Hubs to avoid severe foul trouble and coast to the win.

"(Foul trouble) changed the momentum of the game," said Hubs coach Helen Mency. "By the end of the half, both teams had been in foul trouble. It made me make some changes to keep kids out of foul trouble."

With just eight players in uniform, South didn't have that luxury. At the intermission, the Rebels had starting forward Megan Nelson with four fouls and three others with three apiece. By the end of the game, Ashley Michael, Brandy Price and Amber Star were disqualified, leaving just five active players in uniform.

South stayed close throughout most of the first half, ironically, by converting 11 of 14 free throw attempts, with Cassandra Cartwright getting 15 of her 17 points in the first 16 minutes. But the Hubs' depth, inside strength, and pressure defense ultimately made the difference. North collected 23 steals as the Rebels committed 35 turnovers.

Autumn Parson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Hubs, while Amanda McGee added 17 points, seven assists and six steals.

Marquiela Gantt had 12 points and five steals with Katie Stamper finishing with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Starr chipped in 12 points for South.

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