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South comes back to beat Southern

March 04, 2002|BY BOB PARASILITI

CUMBERLAND, Md. - Domonique Richmond was the hero of the Class 1A West boys basketball final and didn't even know it.

The senior point guard did his part in helping South Hagerstown to an almost miraculous 63-62 victory over Southern Garrett Saturday, but he didn't hit the winning shot, pull down the game-saving rebound or even make a last-second steal.

Nope. Richmond was just there. David Miner took care of the rest.

Miner, running the point in place of Richmond, drove the lane and hit a running 8-footer with with 26 seconds remaining to give the Rebels a trip to Cole Field House and a berth in the state semifinals. When all else failed, Miner turned to flattery.

"I was at point guard when Domonique had four fouls," Miner said. "I took it to the middle and got the shot. I looked at him and just did what he would have done. He's a senior and I look up to him."

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Richmond, coach Bob Starkey and the rest of the Rebels didn't care where the inspiration came from, it was enough to allow South to tarnish Southern Garrett's polished effort.

The Rams pushed the Rebels to the edge by beating South's aggressive overplaying defense to the tune of a 15-point first-half lead.

The defense took hold in the second half as South's quickness finally took hold for a 12-4 run which turned a 41-32 halftime deficit into a 50-50 tie. In fact, the intensived defense gave South (24-1) a 53-50 lead after three quarters.

"This game went about the way I thought it would," Starkey said. "I knew it would be a dogfight. It was a dogfight three years ago when we played up here and won by one point. In the second half, we started to move our feet to get in position to make steals. In the first half, we didn't play defense at all."

Even with the lead, South wasn't out of the woods.

Richmond, Miner and Shannon Suttle were all saddled with four fouls in the fourth quarter with the Rebels clinging to a 55-52 lead. South went scoreless during a five-minute stretch when Starkey elected to run a delay to shorten the game while Richmond was on the bench.

Southern Garrett (21-3) had trouble capitalizing, but scored six points but taking a 58-55 lead.

Richmond returned and benefitted from the ploy as the Rams showed wear from South's intense pressure. Richmond hit a jumper and a steal and drive for four of his 22 points to give the Rebels the lead back.

"They were bigger than us and it just took awhile to wear them down," Starkey said. "They outrebounded us 16-6 in the first half ... I'll bet it was pretty even by the end of the game."

Southern point guard Chad Panther hit a pair of shots to offset another Richmond hoop to give the Rams a 62-61 lead with 51 seconds remaining.

For South, it became a matter of who really wanted to shoot the ball. Miner took the honor, with Richmond's blessing.

"I don't know about (Miner's flattery)," Richmond said. "He's clutch, too. You give him the ball and he'll hit the big shots. He's been doing it all year long."

Southern Garrett had two chances to pull the game out in the last 17 seconds. Rams center Dennis Tressler kept Southern in the game with a game-high 28 points, but mishandled a high-post pass with 12 seconds remaining.

After fouling Richmond, who missed the front of the one-and-one, Panther took a court-long rush and missed a 20-foot jumper at the buzzer.

"Fifteen points down was a deep hole. We had to tighten the screws," Starkey said. "It was will, all the will to win. That's the way it's been 24 times this year. With our record, it would have been a real downer if we didn't get to states."

South Hagerstown 63, Southern Garrett 62


SOUTHERN GARRETT (62)

Panther 20, Reams 4, Parsons 4, Stephens 2, D. Tressler 28, Myers 4. Totals 21 20-27 62.

SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (63)

Richmond 22, Miner 16, Suttle 8, Maas 2, Barish 4, Rideout 8, Norris 1. Totals 26 8-16 63.

S. Garrett2120912-62

S. Hagerstown16322110-63

Three-point goals-South Hagerstown 3 (Richmond, Barish, Rideout). Fouled Out -Suttle.

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