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Knights' offensive crusade ends at South

January 06, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

Middletown's Jon Jarrett is probably the envy of every basketball coach on his block.

He got a perfect picture of an offense that has no form.

The Knights perfected their motion offense - a game with all movement and no set rules - on Friday for a 79-57 Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory over a South Hagerstown team which had trouble getting a focus on its defense.

"We played really well offensively," Jarrett said. "We looked good and were unselfish ... it's a lot of fun to watch them when they play like that. We have been working on this offense all year and it finally looked like what we have been trying to do."

The question would be, "How would Jarrett know?"

Middletown (6-1, 4-0) first took advantage of South's inability to bring the ball upcourt to break off a 25-8 second quarter, good for a 40-22 halftime lead. After that, it was time to polish up the offense.

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"I got to give the kids a lot of credit," Jarrett said. "We are running a lot of new things on offense and it's been a learning process. There are no real set plays and nowhere they have to go. It's freelance and that's been hard for them to grasp. But this was a total team effort."

South (5-2, 2-2), crippled by the suspension of leading scorer David Miner, had trouble responding to what became Middletown's uniformed practice.

"I'm glad we could be of help," South coach Bob Starkey said, sarcastically. "Their execution was good, but we helped them with our lack of execution on defense. We didn't deny the wings or get the boards and they outquicked us. We are crippled offensively, but we shouldn't be crippled on defense."

Middletown found more back doors than a pack of teenagers sneaking into the movie theater, resulting in easy layups. And the Knights' give-and-go plays turned into get-and-score opportunities, either by layups or by one of their nine 3-point baskets.

John Keimig worked easily in the fluid offense to lead four Middletown scorers in double figures with 17 points. Brad Kehoe added 14 points, Pete Colwell had 13 and Bobby Gilligan finished with 10 points as the quartet notched eight of the 3s. Center Bryan DeMoss had seven rebounds and four assists out of the post.

"We didn't want to get them mad," Starkey said. "We didn't take away anything off the wing or out of the post. It was a defensive disaster."

Ben Mertz led South with 15 points and seven rebounds while Jesse Gutekunst finished with 13 points and eight boards.

"Part of it was that Miner is out," Jarrett said. "That's tough when you are missing your leading scorer. But it was nice to get a lead and to be able to work with it."

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