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Hubs make it tough to take easy way

January 09, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - The North Hagerstown boys basketball team took a more artistic approach to winning a game on Thursday.

Scoring wasn't enough for the Hubs. Instead, they relied on the difficulty factor.

Not even a French skating judge could mess this one up for North as it used its fullcourt defense to take Boonsboro out of its halfcourt game to build to a 65-41 Monocacy Valley Athletic League Antietam victory.

The Hubs (7-3, 2-0) didn't shoot well, but didn't have to because they made Boonsboro's path to the basket one filled with potholes and landmines.

"Our defense was our best offense," North coach Tim McNamee said. "Against a team like Boonsboro that wanted to control the tempo, it's what we had to do. We didn't get as much as I would have liked out of it, but I guess we got enough.

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North frustrated Boonsboro by getting numerous turnovers between the foul lines. And when the Warriors (2-8, 0-2) did get into shooting range, they were overly conscience of the Hubs' defenders hovering around the hoop.

"Our kids are still learning to score," Boonsboro coach Sam Connelly said. "We are not going to win many games with 41 points per game. But the kids stayed in the game mentally becuase North is the type of team that can put you away quickly. It's been a slow process, but I hope we can turn the corner."

On Thursday, there was danger at every turn for the Warriors, who suffered a slow, lingering demise.

Boonsboro had every chance to make it a game in the first half as Brad Wetzel scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the first 16 minutes. North offset the scoring by forcing fast breaks with the moderate pressure to build a 24-12 lead with 5:20 remaining before intermission.

The Warriors held North without a field goal from that point on in the half, but struggled to score and only managed to pull within 30-24 at the half.

"We didn't shoot the ball well," McNamee said. "We have to give Boonsboro's 2-3 zone credit for that. But in the second half, we started to get more touches on the inside and started to run our offense inside out. I'm never satisfied with our defense. Wetzel hurt us, but we concentrated on him in the second half.

North limited Wetzel to five shots in the second half and only allowed two baskets and a foul shot as the Warriors managed just 17 points the rest of the way.

"(North has) fantastic athletes," Connelly said. "They move their feet well and don't allow any second shots. We were one and done (shooting). Turnovers killed us."

North pulled away with a 13-4 run in the final five minutes of the third quarter off a balanced attack of fast breaks and foul shots. The Hubs scored 18 points off transition and 22 from the foul line for the majority of their total.

The Hubs pulled away steadily, building leads of 15, 19 and the final 24 points.

Marshall Branch led North with 19 points while Bernard Harris added 13 as the Hubs' only scorers in double figures. Kyle Davis had 10 for Boonsboro.

"We got some looks and got a loose ball here and there and eventually wore them down," McNamee said. "We probably played better defense than I thought."

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