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Hubs start to 'Carey' on to drop FSK

March 01, 2002|BY DAN SPEARS

North Hagerstown point guard Clif Carey had lost the keys to his offense.

The Hubs' normally savvy floor leader tried plenty of things to jumpstart a sluggish team in the first half of Thursday night's Class 2A West semifinal against Francis Scott Key, but it wasn't working. Finally he hit the gas, and away the Hubs went.

Carey's dribble penetration and transition smarts made the difference in a huge third quarter for North, as a four-point game turned into an 80-55 laugher and put the Hubs in their first region final in 10 seasons.

"Coach just said to move things around, pump fake and get into the lane," Carey said. "This feels so great, always before we were out now."

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The top-seeded Hubs (21-3) will play at Monocacy Valley Athletic League rival Middletown at 7 Saturday night. The third-seeded Knights won 77-70 at Fort Hill.

"You'd rather play at home; the road in the playoffs can be so hostile," North coach Tim McNamee said. "But we talked about the situations after the game and the guys didn't care. They said, 'Bring it on.'"

If North would have adopted the same attitude in the first half on Thursday, their road to Middletown would have been much smoother. It came out tentative on offense and uninspired on defense. Still, reserve Eugene Gregory hit a pair of 3s and had 10 points to give North a 32-28 lead at the break.

A third blowout in the season series by North looked unlikely.

"We've played them so many times," Carey said. "But they say it's hard to beat a team three times in a season. I guess we proved that one wrong."

North got the first five points of the second half thanks to Carey's penetration of FSK's loose zone defense. Three-and-a-half minutes into the half, North led 41-34 before blowing it open.

The Hubs' half-court trap began causing trouble; Carey and Taylor took advantage. Taylor hit two more 3s in a 12-0 run over the next two minutes that put things out of reach. He finished with a career-high 20 on 5-for-9 shooting from long range.

"In the last three weeks, he's just been shooting the heck out of the ball," McNamee said. "He's worked hard and worked his way and he earned it."

Just like his teammates, after years of playoff frustration, finally have earned a shot to go to the state semifinals.

"This is the first opportunity we've had in a long time and we've had some pretty darn good teams," McNamee said. "It's a great opportunity for us."




North 80, FSK 52

Francis scott key (52)

Gill 6, Black 13, Simmons 6, Rutter 2, Bassler 19, Ricketts 6. Totals 20-52 7-13 52.

north hagerstown (80)

Rice 19, Harris 4, Bellon 2, Taylor 20, Carey 10, Green 19, Branch 4. Totals 33-70 9-17 80.

FSK18101113-52

North20122721-80

Three point goals-FSK 5 (Gill 2, Black, Simmons 2), North 5 (Taylor 5).

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