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Comparison shopping - North quickly gets 'W' on grocery list

January 23, 2002

Comparison shopping - North quickly gets 'W' on grocery list



By BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Sometimes you have to wonder if the North Hagerstown boys are playing basketball in a gym or at the express checkout line.

There are times the Hubs seem to end a game in 10 possessions or less. Tuesday was one of them.

CONTINUED

North's defense put the screws to Smithsburg early, jumping off to a 14-2 lead before coasting to a 70-43 Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory.

The No. 7 Hubs prevented the young, upstart Leopards any easy access to and offensive flow, pressuring Smithsburg into backcourt turnovers for easy baskets in an outing that was all but finished in the first four minutes of the game.

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"The defense got us into a lot of fast breaks," North coach Tim McNamee said. "We played mediocre on offense, but played well on defense. When you play these teams like Smithsburg, fast starts are important to us. Smithsburg can shoot and the longer they stay around, the more dangerous they are."

After the first quarter, the only danger left for North was to have the bus break down on the way home.

The Hubs (11-3, 8-2) hustled off to a 26-9 lead in the first quarter and closed with a 11-4 run in the final 2:45 of the half to take a 47-23 lead. North did is with moderate pressure and active hands to knock the ball loose.

"They gave us some defensive pressure and we had trouble with it," Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said. "It's tough to slow them down when you don't even get any shots. There were times we had some good plays, but we would throw the ball away for unforced turnovers and some of the turnovers went for easy baskets."

Scott Rice scored 13 of his game-high 19 in the first half; Tavis Green had 12 of his 14 in the same stretch.

Smithsburg failed to find a remedy, falling further behind as North opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run for a 59-27 lead.

The Hubs, who spent most of the game using different combinations of players, had a 66-34 lead with 3:30 remaining when McNamee cleared the bench. David Gouff hit a pair of 3s and Cory Brown added a third long-range hoop for some cosmetics to the outcome. Gouff finished with 15 points to lead the Leopards (5-9, 3-7).

"When you have a 20-point lead at the half, it's a good margin to work with. We mixed people in to let them learn what to do if they play with the starters. We practice that every day, but it's different in a game," McNamee said. "The one thing I'm happy about is that these kids come out and play hard and don't pay attention to the score or the record. They just play hard."

No. 7 North 70, Smithsburg 43


NORTH HAGERSTOWN (70)

Rice 19, Harris 10, Salvagno 5, Bellon 4, Carey 9, Green 14, McConnaghey 4, Branch 2, Reed 3. Totals 31 4-11 70.

SMITHSBURG (43)

Colvin 6, Hunt 7, Brown 7, Gouff 15, Fay 2, Talbert 4, Reddick 2. Totals 15 7-10 43.

N. Hagerstown26211211-70

Smithsburg914910-43

Three-point goals-North Hagerstown 4 (Harris 2, Rice, Salvagno), Smithsburg 6 ( Gouff 3, Brown, Hunt, Talbert).

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