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Indians can't sink Applemen

January 03, 2004|by CURT HORNBECKER

INWOOD, W.Va. - Just about the time Chad Brinegar started feeling comfortable was when things started going horribly awry for the Berkeley Springs boys basketball coach.

Brinegar watched helplessly Friday night as his club missed four opportunities to secure the win in the final 17 seconds, and Musselman pulled off a nearly miraculous 56-53 overtime win in an Apple Valley League game to stay undefeated.

The Indians led by two with 17 seconds remaining in regulation when a Musselman player was whistled for a technical foul, allowing Brinegar to put his best free-throw shooter on the line. After Aaron Twigg missed both technical free throws, Matt Rockwell was fouled and also missed both foul shots. Musselman (3-0) gathered the rebound, and raced to the other end of the floor where Trebor Taylor missed a 3-pointer, but the ball caromed off a Berkeley Springs player out of bounds with seven seconds remaining. Sean Corbett was then fouled after taking the inbounds pass under the basket, but missed the first free throw before the Indians called a timeout.

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Corbett's second shot was missed purposely, and the Musselman forward snared the rebound and put it back in with two seconds left to force OT.

"I told the kids during the timeout that all they needed to do was get the rebound," said Brinegar, "and they couldn't do it."

After the Indians claimed a 49-48 advantage in the extra period, Musselman reeled of eight of the next nine points - Allen Kees scored four of his 10 points in the run - to ice the win.

"We emphasize in practice every day free throws, free throws, free throws, and that costs us the game," said Brinegar.

Defensively, the Applemen managed to shut down Rockwell, Berkeley Springs' leading scorer, holding the Indians guard to 15 points, six of which came on a pair of long 3-pointers in the third quarter. Just four players reached the scoring column for Berkeley Springs.

"The kid is such a fantastic player," said Musselman coach Derek Basile. "He still made some shots that most kids can't make. We wanted to make all his shots tough shots, and I think we did that."

With Rockwell neutralized, Brinegar was looking for someone to take up the slack. Tony Belt finally accepted that role in the fourth quarter, draining a pair of 3s within a 40-second span and nine points in an 11-6 run to propel the Indians to a 46-41 lead with 44 seconds left. But Tim Sanders sank a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left to set up the fourth period's frantic finish.

Strong offensive rebounding and six Musselman turnovers allowed the Indians to claim a 13-8 advantage after the first eight minutes, but Berkeley Springs managed just two points in the second quarter on 1 of 12 shooting from the floor as the Applemen took a 21-15 lead at the half.

In the third period, it was Musselman that struggled from the field (2-for-22) as Berkeley Springs - buoyed by Rockwell's 3s - entered the final eight minutes with a 31-26 edge.

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