Smith steals some spotlight for South

February 02, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

Jamel Smith doesn't often get top billing playing in the shadows of high-scoring teammate David Miner at South Hagerstown.

Friday night was his turn.

The 5-foot-9 senior wasn't the leading scorer, but his early scoring binge and solid floor play ignited the Rebels to an 83-56 boys basketball victory over Brunswick Friday night in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

Smith hit a trio of 3-pointers in the opening quarter to power the Rebels to a 20-9 margin, then hit another along with two free throws for a 14-point first half.

"Coach (Bob Starkey) has been talking about me shooting more," Smith said. "David does his stuff, but I feel I play just as hard."


He ended with 16 points and five assists and constantly harassed the Brunswick backcourt, which was missing senior Brandon Dykes.

South (10-4, 7-4) won for the fourth time in five games and now must prepare for tough challenges this week at conference-leading Middletown Tuesday and city rival North Hagerstown on Friday.

"I thought we had intense pressure out there tonight," Starkey said. "We didn't turn the ball over and I thought our defense, led by Jamel, played very well. And David is David. He does some things wrong, but he does a lot of things right."

Brunswick (9-7, 6-7) not only played without Dykes for a second consecutive game, but Matt Feldman has been nursing a sore ankle and also broke the ring finger on his shooting hand against Catoctin Thursday. Friday was Feldman's first start since Dec. 14.

"South just out-scrapped us all over the floor," Brunswick coach Jim Sklencar said. "They did things with hustle and killed us on the boards. Even without Brandon, I thought we still would have played better."

With Brunswick still in reach, the Rebels went on a run to take a 34-16 lead with five minutes to go in the second period. Coming out of halftime, South put up eight quick points for a 50-25 margin two minutes into the third period and cruised home.

All told, South singed the nets for eight 3-pointers (8 of 20), including two by Miner, part of his game-high 22 points. Overall, South shot 33 of 79 and also hit all nine of its free throws. The Rebels only committed eight turnovers.

The Rebels held a 46-33 rebounding advantage and often had sharp outlet passes that resulted in quick baskets. Miner had 10 boards and Jesse Gutekunst pulled down nine.

"With Dykes not playing, I thought it was to our credit we didn't let down," Starkey said. "I'm happy with a victory any time you beat a team coached by Jim Sklencar. He's one of the best."

Starkey also rewarded junior Josh Bussard with his first starting assignment of the season. The 6-foot-3 center responded with six points and three rebounds and helped clog up the middle defensively.

"Josh got a start tonight via his practice efforts," Starkey said. "It has paid off for him."

Starkey is ready for the last part of the regular season.

"There's a lot of season left, and there really are eight teams that could beat anyone on a given night," he said. "We've got to be ready, take one game at a time, and work for the best possible record for tournament seedings. Things are gettin' there."

No. 3 Middletown 64 No. 6 North 63


Kehoe 7, Mongeon 6, Colwell 24, Joe Keimig 2, John Keimig 13, Gilligan 8, Lear 2, DeMoss 2. Totals 24 10-14 64.


Harris 32, Spruce 8, Gantt 2, Bellon 7, Branch 8, Claybon 6. Totals 24 11-18 63.

Middletown 19 17 7 21 - 64

N. Hagerstown 17 15 14 17 - 63

Three-point goals - Middletown 6 (Colwell 3, John Keimig, Gilligan 2), North 6 (Harris 4, Spruce 2).

The Herald-Mail Articles