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Hubs' final run topples Cadets

December 12, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. - Basketball's game of runs turned in favor of North Hagerstown on Thursday night as the Hubs struck down Frederick 56-49 in the Cadets' home opener.

North (2-0) closed with a 9-0 run to cap off a 20-7 fourth-period advantage to claim its second straight win heading into another tough tussle tonight at Walkersville. The Cadets suffered their first loss following two road victories.

"We certainly can play better than we did, but we played a good team on the road," North head coach Tim McNamee said.

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The runs included an early eight for Frederick, six for the Hubs to reclaim the lead and seven by Frederick to grab it back and lead at halftime, 29-21.

Down 34-23 with 5:56 to play in the third period, North went on an 11-0 binge keyed by a pair of buckets by junior Chris Grove to forge a tie. Frederick finished the third with an 8-2 run and a 42-36 lead.

However, the Cadets started turning over the ball early in the final period and the Hubs, off two buckets by Colby Thompson, began another run and finally tied the game, 47-47, on a Marshall Branch basket on a driving move in the lane with 1:26 left.

If not for a key conventional 3-point play by Quielan Gantt that closed the margin to 47-45 after being fouled by Frederick's Robbie Davis, the Hubs might not have been in position to move ahead.

Davis put the Cadets back on top with a 6-footer along the baseline and North's Bernard Harris followed with another 3-point play off an inbounds pass with 43 seconds left.

North closed it out in fashion at the charity stripe, making six consecutive free throws.

What was important for North in the end was what Frederick had working early in the game - patience.

"Tuesday (against South Carroll) we were patient but we did not get into our offense early," said McNamee, who made sure in time-out huddles his players understood "there is an eternity of time left" in the comeback. "When we were patient, we got some good looks inside."

That's where Thompson was of importance, as the 6-foot-3 junior got his first varsity start and responded with eight points and eight rebounds, several off the offensive glass.

The Cadets displayed their patience early with the inside-outside game of Andrew Gibson and D.J. Blumenthal as the pair scored 10 and seven points respectively in the first half, including a pair of 3s by Blumenthal.

"We weren't really in an offensive sync tonight," Frederick coach Derek Shackelford said. "Tonight was a game of runs and we made some bad decisions in the fourth period and they hurt us off the boards with second chances."

North shot well inside the arc, going 20-for-41, but suffered from long range, hitting only one of 10 3-point tries.

"We had some good looks on the 3s but they just didn't go down," McNamee said.

Conversely, Frederick hit 16 of 39 from the floor and 4 of 13 beyond the arc.

Gantt led the Hubs with 14 points and Harris added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Blumenthal led the way for Frederick with 13 points.

Thompson and Grove each received kudos from McNamee for their efforts and will be integral parts as the Hubs continue a tough streak of games that includes a visit to Linganore Tuesday.

Shackelford accepted the coulda-shoulda-woulda situation in a manner that "this will allow the players to learn from a game like this."

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