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Hubs finish off Wildcats

January 07, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

For all the fits North Hagerstown's boys basketball team has given coach Tim McNamee at the start of games this season, he has to give them this: They sure do know how to finish.

With Williamsport hanging around like a pesky gnat after three quarters, the Hubs turned up the defensive pressure and squished the Wildcats' comeback hopes flat.

Bernard Harris scored 11 of his 21 points in the final eight minutes, in which North forced eight Williamsport turnovers and outscored the Wildcats 26-5 for a resounding 77-44 victory Tuesday night in the MVAL Antietam.

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"The fourth quarter, we really picked up our defensive intensity," said McNamee, now 11 wins shy of 300 at North. "We got a couple of steals and layups and broke it open."

Williamsport (5-3, 0-1) closed an 18-point deficit to 12 over the final 2:20 of the third to stay near striking distance at 51-39. But the Hubs (6-3, 1-0) started the fourth on a game-clinching 18-0 run. Harris had seven points and Quielan Gantt added six of his 13 in the run.

"The fourth quarter, I just take it to the rim," said Harris who averages a team-high 16.2 points per game. "Coaches tell me to take it to the rim. They get on me because I'm a senior. ... I just pick it up."

Colby Thompson scored 12 points - most coming on short, high-arching jumpers inside 10 feet. It's Thompson's second game in double figures this season - he scored 19 against Walkersville - as he battles to stay in North's starting lineup.

"That's a good little shot for him, that little seven-footer," McNamee said. "He finds the passing lane and squares up well."

Marshall Branch added 10 points for the Hubs.

David Warrenfeltz scored 16 points on two 3-pointers and several tough drives down the lane to lead Williamsport. Phil Jordan had 11 points and Will Roney added 10, but the Wildcats never really clicked as a team offensively, finishing with more turnovers (24) than field goals (15).

"They beat us in every aspect of the game tonight," Williamsport coach Deron Crawford said. "We're still on Christmas break, all of us. ... Maybe this is something we all hold on to. Failure is a great motivator."

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