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S. Garrett pushes Hancock out of range

March 01, 2002|BY BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

CUMBERLAND, Md. - The perimeter shot ... the 3-pointer.

Hancock coach Jeff Spielman will be the first to say the Panthers' offense relies on the long-ranged jumper. It opens up almost everything else Hancock hopes to accomplish.

But when the "hot shot" becomes the "not shot," you can be in for a long night.

Southern Garrett shut down Hancock's perimeter game early with a smothering man defense while using balanced, patient attack to eliminate the Panthers 71-44 Thursday in a Class 1A West semifinal at Allegany High School.

The Rams advance to the West final against South Hagerstown - a winner 94-40 over Beall - Saturday night at 7 at Allegany High School.

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Bryson Meyers and Chad Panther cooled off Hancock's 3-point tandem of Chris Wills and Chris Robair with an aggressive trapto cut down outside openings. Inside, the Rams' 6-foot-5 Dennis Trexler neutralized Hancock's 6-7 Brandon Fling while scoring 27 points.

"Southern is definitely a good team ... they had a great plan," Hancock coach Jeff Spielman said. "But I thought early on, we didn't get some key calls underneath on Brandon (Fling). But (the Rams) knew what they had to do."

Coach Tom Bosley's game plan worked to perfection, but he still had room to praise the Panthers.

"I admire Hancock," Bosley said. "For that small school to put together a collection of kids that play that hard, I think it is outstanding. They are a pleasure to watch."

Wills and John Poffenberger opened the game with a 3-pointer each to give Hancock a 6-2 lead. In fact, 11 of the Panthers 22 shots in the first half were from 3-point range. Still, Southern's steady play resulted in a 12-10 lead at the four-minute mark.

"We knew we had to get Wills covered out there." Bosley said. "Poffenberger threw us off a little - he got some great looks and hit some shots, but after we settled in, things went our way."

And how.

Hancock went cold in the second quarter, scoring only three baskets while Southern eliminated any second chances by the Panthers.

"We missed some shots in transition and then we became too impatient." Spielman said. "That impatience really hurt us in the second quarter."

The Panthers opened the second half with a Chris Robair 3, but the Rams answered with 16-0 run to go up 50-29 at the end of three quarters.

"We were late setting our picks and a liitle slow on defense," Spielman said. "We had some good looks but we didn't always take advantage of them."

"We have done well keeping our emotions in check," Bosley said. "You know, you can't get excited for 25 games - but now, I think it's time to get at least a little worked up."




Southern Garrett 71, Hancock 44

Hancock (44)

Newton 4, Hendershot 2, Robair 9, Wills 8, Poffenberger 13, Fling 8. Totals 18 3-5 44.

SOUTHERN GARRETT (71)

Panther 14, Reams 4, Parsons 3, Cerrito 2, Bender 2, Murphy 3, Stephens 6, Tressler 27, Meyers 12, Sines 1. Totals 26 19-28 71.

Hancock1361015-44

S. Garrett17141921-71

Three point goals-Hancock 5 (Robair 3, Wills, Poffenberger). Fouled out - Fling.

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