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Hubs ease to win

January 27, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

"We didn't get into the flow early," North Hagerstown coach Tim McNamee said following the Hubs' 86-37 manhandling of winless Catoctin on Friday night.

When the Hubs (12-2, 8-2) did get flowing, they were unstoppable as they cruised to the Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory and remained one game behind Middletown.

Catoctin (0-10, 0-7) jumped to a quick 6-0 lead and still remained on top, 13-10, with three minutes to play in the opening period. Bernard Harris then scored four points and that started the rout for the Hubs, who proceeded to outscore Catoctin, 26-8, in each of the next two quarters.

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With 6-foot-6 center Cole Bellon on the bench nursing a sprained ankle and questionable for Monday at Brunswick, McNamee gave sophomore Quielan Gantt his first start going to a three-guard offense.

Gantt responded with 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting, including two 3-pointers. He also had a resounding slam dunk at the outset of the fourth quarter.

"That was the first dunk I've ever had in a game," Gantt said. "It felt good to start. I've always had confidence in my shooting."

Also coming to the forefront for North was E. J. Brown, who scored 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting and a pair of treys.

"I do a lot of shooting in practice and my teammates and coaches have been trying to get me to shoot more," Brown said. "I did better tonight because I was fading away from my shot."

Harris led North with 17 points, while Purnell Spruce dished out 12 assists.

"I thought we played very well with intensity, especially in the second half," McNamee said. "The bench has done pretty good all year. Maybe I haven't given them enough time. But we need to be able to count on these guys."

North shot well (26 of 54, including 6 of 11 from 3-point land), rebounded well (33-20, Arthur Claybon with nine) and had only nine turnovers.

"The first five or six minutes we were able to stick with our game plan," Catoctin coach Ryan Oman said. "We slowed it down, but then (North's) up-temp style got them into their kind of game."

Danny Novak and K. C. Simmel each had eight points for the Cougars, who shot 12 of 33.

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