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Applemen left feeling flat

Jefferson avenges losses to Musselman with sectional win

Jefferson avenges losses to Musselman with sectional win

February 28, 2002|BY DAN KAUFFMAN

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Maybe Musselman's boys basketball team came into Wednesday night's Class AAA Region II Section 1 playoff semifinal against Jefferson overconfident, having beaten the Cougars by 16 points just five days ago.

Perhaps Jefferson was more focused or more motivated.

Whatever the reason, one thing became clear - this was not the same Musselman team at Shepherd College's Butcher Center.

Lacking intensity and enthusiasm, the Applemen went through the motions in the first half, digging a hole they couldn't overcome as the Cougars advanced to the finals with a 44-39 victory that left Musselman coach Rich Lyons scratching his head.

"I don't think we ever had any intensity in the first half," Lyons said, adding later, "We had the same shots we had Friday, and they weren't falling."

Jefferson will play Martinsburg in the sectional final Friday night. The Bulldogs defeated Hedgesville, 52-34, in the first game.

Ryan Woolum hit two 3-pointers in the first 70 seconds of the game for a 6-1 lead before the Applemen (16-7) went cold.

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Jefferson (11-11), behind the inside-outside play of Kevin Jackson, used a 22-6 run over the rest of the half for a 23-12 lead. Jackson had 10 of his 16 points in the run, while Tyler Rishel made two of his three 3-pointers in the half.

The Cougars led 34-23 with 53 seconds left in the third quarter, when Musselman shifted momentum with two baskets in 30 seconds and cut it to 37-33. Jawaan Holmes buried a 3 at the other end, stopping Musselman momentarily.

"We were able to get some good looks, and he nailed down a big one," Jefferson coach Scott Douglas said.

The Applemen scored the next six points to cut the lead to 40-39 with 1:39 left.

But Jackson made two free throws with 58 seconds left, and Musselman's last gasp ended in a turnover and Jermar Togans' layup at the buzzer.

"It wasn't an insurmountable hole, but when you're not shooting well the whole game, you can't rely on one quarter," Lyons said.

- In the first game, Hedgesville coach Kelly Church tried the slow-down method against Martinsburg, the No. 2 team in West Virginia, with only temporary success.

After the Bulldogs (19-4) scored the first basket of the game, the Eagles (11-12) swung the ball around 40 feet from the basket, holding it for more than 2 1/2 minutes before Pat McDonald got loose for a layup to tie the game.

Martinsburg scored the next two baskets for a 6-2 lead, and Hedgesville once again spread the floor to leave the crowd restless.

"To try to sell the kids on the fact that we're going to hold the basketball for the whole game ... shows they have a lot of faith in me and what we're trying to get done," Church said. "It just didn't go our way."

But after holding the ball for more than two minutes, the Eagles turned the ball over when Martinsburg's defense made the needed adjustments. The Bulldogs scored again, ended the first quarter up 13-2 and led at halftime, 24-8.

"When we went into our staff meetings, that's what we discussed, 'What if they take the air out of the ball?'" Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers said. "We felt we had enough quickness to defend that."

Kevin Pittsnogle and Buck Springette had 14 points to lead the Bulldogs.




W.Va. Class AAA Region II Section 1 semifinals

Martinsburg 52, Hedgesville 34

HEDGESVILLE (34)

McDonald 4, Williams 7, Silver 6, Gregory 7, Grant 2, Hockman 6, Miller 2. Totals 12 8-13 34.

MARTINSBURG (52)

Washington 2, Pittsnogle 14, Springette 14, Largent 3, Barrett 10, Johnson 3, Clise 1, Triggs 5. Totals 21 8-13 52.

Hedgesville261214-34

Martinsburg13111315-52

Three-point goals - Hedgesville 2 (Williams, Gregory), Martinsburg 2 (Springette 2).




Jefferson 44, Musselman 39

MUSSELMAN (39)

Woolum 17, Jefferson 2, Michael 8, Houser 6, Saunders 4, Corbett 2. Totals 16 5-7 39.

JEFFERSON (44)

Rishel 10, Jackson 16, Togans 7, Reynolds 3, Holmes 5, Jacobs 3. Totals 13 14-21 44.

Musselman841512-39

Jefferson1310138-44

Three-point goals - Musselman 2 (Woolum 2), Jefferson 4 (Rishel 3, Holmes).

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