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Himes' alarm awakens Warriors

January 03, 2003|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

BOONSBORO - Boonsboro boys basketball coach Chuck Ingram made the most of his first timeout using the least amount of words.

With Walkersville owning a 9-0 just three minutes into Thursday's pivotal MVAL game, Ingram called his team around him and in no uncertain terms told them to "wake up."

Plain and simple.

And although the Warriors continued to hit the sleep alarm until the final four minutes of the game, Boonsboro outhustled and outmuscled the Lions for over 3 1/2 quarters to come away with an exciting 56-52 win.

"We started out too slow." Ingram said. "To win these types of games, we have to pick it up from the beginning."

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But the Warriors never led until a Keith Kellinger jumper put them up 47-45 with just under four minutes left. Walkersville regained a 52-47 lead with 2:56 left, right before Nathan Himes delivered the real wake up call for the Warriors.

Himes hit a 3 from the top of the key then took an outlet pass from Mitchell Smith and pulled up to drain another 3 to put the Warriors ahead for good.

"Honestly, we were playing to get back in the game earlier and Nathan missed a 3." Ingram said. "I asked him if he felt good shooting from out there. He said he could hit them, so I gave him the green light. I have learned you can count on Nathan."

"I like close games like this." Himes said. And I like to put the ball up from out there. Coach didn't have to ask me twice ... but it was nice to have that encouragement."

"Nathan was real clutch tonight." teammate Travis Itnyre said. "He has the confidence and we believed in him."

Walkersville held on throughout the first half combining an aggressive man defense that dogged the Warriors from time to time with some superb shooting early on from Brock McCollum and Brian Morris.

The Warriors countered with a strong defensive effort of its own that seemingly gained momentum as the Walkersville hot hands cooled off. Itnyre was greatly responsible for the change in momentum , according to Ingram.

"Travis played their shooter Chris Hannigan about as good as we would have expected." Ingram said. "He held him in check and the rest of our kids responded and took charge."

"Coach told me to stick to (Hannigan) because it would be a key to us getting on top." Itnyre said. "I tried to hold him in check."

In fact, Hannigan got just eight points, countering the 19 point performance by McCollum.

"This was a total team effort tonight- an effort with a lot of heart." Ingram said. "I believe the success of this team stems from the heart they show and the companionship they have for each other."

Brad Wetzel had 12 points for the Warriors.

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