Martinsburg, Jefferson have last laughs

March 01, 2001

Martinsburg, Jefferson have last laughs


SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson basketball coach Scott Douglass has a notion ... "Basketball is a funny game," he says.

If so, the Cougars' first-year coach is the only one enjoying a devious belly laugh right about now after Wednesday's Class AAA Region II, Section 1 doubleheader at Shepherd College.

In fact, Jefferson is laughing, Martinsburg is groaning, Musselman is content and Hedgesville has a full blown pout going.

Jefferson and Martinsburg used their defenses to different extents of effectiveness to pull out semifinal victories and advance to Friday's final at Shepherd College. The Cougars suffocated Hedgesville with a combination of matchup and hybrid zone defense for a shocking 54-31 victory right after Martinsburg flashed just enough defense to hold off the upstart Applemen, 66-55.

Only Douglass could show the pearly whites after the Cougars thoroughly befuddled the Eagles and did it from the opening tip. Jefferson opened a box-and-1 set against Hedgesville's Chris Leborious and then settled into a matchup zone to render the Eagles useless.


"The box-and-one against Chris did so many things to us," Hedgesville coach Kelly Church said.

"It not only stopped him but it stopped our movement in the offense," Church said. "(Douglass) made a couple of little adjustments and I tried to make some adjustments to fix it, but his adjustments were better than mine."

Jefferson scored the first 12 points of the game, keeping Hedgesville off the board until Brian Clarke's steal and layup with 1 minute, 2 seconds were left in the period. The Eagles missed their first six shots and had four turnovers in the first quarter while trailing 12-4.

Hedgesville needed to score the final six points of the first half to close to within 28-15 at the intermission. It only got worse as the Eagles missed their first 11 shots of the second half and hit only 3 of 18 shots in the first 9:45 of the second half to trail by as much as 48-20.

"Our defense was a year-long project," Douglass said. "You keep working on it and adding things and hope it all comes together at this part of the season. We made an adjustment in the defense we ran and focused it to pay a lot of attention to the guy (Leborious) who gave us the most difficult time."

Damon McDowell led Jefferson with 14 points while Tony Shanton added 11 and Kevin Jackson had 10. Nicky Brown had eight for Hedgesville, which managed just 11 baskets for the game.

"We knew what they were going to do and we spent a lot of time preparing for it, but we couldn't make the adjustments," Church said. "I messed up."

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers was feeling rather fortunate that the same mess didn't overcome the Bulldogs.

Martinsburg played less than inspired basketball but was able to snag the majority of loose balls and turned them into easy scores for the difference in the game, leaving Rogers asking about the maturity of his team.

"That was soooo ugly," Rogers said. "I'm ashamed at the way we played. At halftime, I went in and challenged their manhood and they didn't respond. How can you not be ready to play a sectional game? I don't understand."

What the Bulldogs lacked in focus, they improvised.

Martinsburg led 34-28 at the half after squandering a comfortable 13-point lead. Buck Springette awoke in the second half, scoring all 14 of his points to restore the 13-point advantage that allowed Martinsburg to hang on for dear life.

"It was tough for our guys," Musselman coach Guy Sharp said. "We were coming in here to face a team that had beat us handily three times. We had a simple game plan and hustled and stuck with it. A couple more layups and a couple of loose balls ..."

Musselman got to within 52-46 with five minutes remaining before Martinsburg came out of a timeout with a 9-0 burst to put the game away, led by five Springette points.

Kevin Pittsnogle led Martinsburg with 17 points while J.J. Bullett added 12. Matt Huff topped Musselman with 19 points.

"Musselman was ready to play and did a great job," Rogers said. "We now have one day to get ready for a championship game. If you aren't doing what you're supposed to be doing by this part of the season at 110 percent, something's wrong."

Martinsburg 66, Musselman 55


Williams 3, Houser 2, Baumgardner 2, Jefferson 4, Sanders 10, Stephens 6, Huff 19, Michael 9. Totals 18 17-19 55.


Largent 6, Springette 14, Yurish 1, Morris 5, Bullett 12, Pittsnogle 17. Totals 25 14-27 66.



Three-point goals - Musselman 2 (Huff, Michael), Martinsburg 2 (Springette 2). Fouled out - Sanders.

Jefferson 54, Hedgesville 31


Hosby 6, Togans 5, D. McDowell 14, Reno 2, Jackson 10, Shanton 11, Jacobs 5, Hough 1. Totals 23 5-14 54.


Clarke 2, Miller 3, LeBorious 7, McDonald 2, Gosk 3, Ballou 4, Brown 8, thomas 2. Totals 11 6-7 31.



Three-point goals - Jefferson 3 (McDowell 2, Hosby), Hedgesville 3 (Brown 2, Gosk).

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