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Hubs' youth prevails over Wildcats

December 09, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - North Hagerstown's Tim McNamee and Williamsport's Deron Crawford admitted they didn't know what they were going to get when their basketball teams took the floor on Saturday.

And after it was all over, the two coaches still didn't know - with the exception of one constant on each side.

North leaned on its defense to cover some offensive warts and blemish the Wildcats' shooting percentage and build a huge lead. But Williamsport used its intestinal fortitude to make one final rush that turned a 26-point deficit into a respectable 52-41 loss.

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Williamsport's shooting went into the deep freeze, hitting just 10 baskets - all but two were layups - through the first 29 1/2 minutes. Williamsport closed with a 15-0 run to end the game.

"I was happy with the defensive effort tonight," McNamee said. "Our offense wasn't pretty. Both teams felt each other out early. Then when we realized we were quicker than they were, we were able to extend the defense and force them to execute."

Once North figured that Williamsport was going to be frigid from anywhere outside of five feet from the basket, the Hubs extended the defense and forced the Wildcats to shoot longer shots. The pressure turned into turnovers that helped North score in transition.

"If you had told me before the game that we were going to hold North to 52 points, I would have been happy and taken my chances," Crawford said. "I'd be happy to hold any team to 52 points. Our offense was really out of sync. I can't explain why we didn't shoot well tonight."

Until the final six baskets, Williamsport was 10 of 42 from the floor.

North broke a 6-6 tie with a 12-0 run that started late in the first period. Purnell Spruce scored five of his team-high 13 in the run while Cole Bellon added four to give the Hubs a working margin.

The Hubs led 26-16 at the half and stretched the advantage to 41-22 after three quarters. North opened the fourth quarter with an 11-4 spurt to assume a 52-26 lead before Williamsport's final run.

North had four players in double figures as Bernard Harris added 12, Marshall Branch had 11 and Bellon finished with 10. Ben Jordan was the only Wildcat in double figures with 13.

"This early in the season, with a young club, you don't know what you are going to get," McNamee said. "Anytime you play hard and get an win, it can only help you confidence."

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