South rings Beall to send message

March 01, 2002|BY DAN SPEARS

Normally, the South Hagerstown Rebels break out the heavy offense in the third quarter of games.

But like guard Josh Norris said, "This is the playoffs. We wanted to make a statement."

Thursday night against Beall in the Class 1A West semifinals at North Hagerstown, South brought out the big guns in the second quarter, using a 31-point period to blow out the Mountaineers, 94-40, and advance to the region final.

The top-seeded Rebels (23-1) will play Southern Garrett at 7 Saturday night at Allegany High School.

They got there behind the usual means, suffocating pressure and blinding quickness that simply overwhelmed the Mountaineers, who acutally took a 7-0 lead. But South point guard Domonique Richmond drove the length of the floor, sliced the middle of the Beall defense and threw down a dunk that ignited a 17-3 run.

"The kids saw Clear Spring got them in overtime, and we're beating Clear Spring pretty easy," South coach Bob Starkey said. "They're kids. They're human. So I had to act like I was mad."


Reserve Josh Norris provided the spark, scoring 10 straight points in that span on a pair of 3s and three lay-ins on steals atop the South press.

"I wasn't on in warmups," said Norris, who finished with a career-high 23 points. "But I had to get in there and find my shot. Once we're in the flow, we can start to get the turnovers. Then nobody's slacking."

Beall closed back to 17-15 on the opening play of the second quarter, but the Rebels' press found another level, forcing 13 turnovers in the quarter and scoring all 31 of its points in a 6 1/2 minute span.

"We haven't been great from the get-go in either playoff game now," Starkey said. "But everything's in. I'll keep grouching around on them and hopefully that will wake them up."

The second-half was more of the same from South's starters in the third quarter and its bench in the fourth. And it leads to a Saturday night showdown with the Rams, the latest installment in a playoff rivalry that has seen big game after big game.

"We took this one at a time," Norris said. "But in the back of our minds, we knew this might happen. We're one game away from Cole Field House. This is the one we've been waiting for."

South 94, Beall 40

Beall (40)

McCormick 4, Morgan 3, Shipe 1, Russ 2, Greig 4, Hanna 3, R. Harper 11, Kline 6, Roberts 1, M. Harper 5. Totals 12-36 15-26 40.

South hagerstown (94)

Mertz 4, Norris 23, Sellers 7, Rideout 9, Marshall 4, Miner 20, Suttle 6, Williams 4, Richmond 17. Totals 40-74 8-12 94.



Three-point goals-Beall 1 (R. Harper), South 6 (Norris 3, Rideout, Miner, Richmond).

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