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North dominates Catoctin

February 19, 2004|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

Like Clint Eastwood stuck in a Woody Allen movie, North Hagerstown boys basketball coach Tim McNamee looked downright uncomfortable as he strode off the floor moments after the No. 5 Hubs dismantled Catoctin 85-47 in an MVAL Antietam game Wednesday at North.

McNamee didn't look like the guy whose team had just won its seventh game in a row and 16th of the year.

He certainly didn't look like the guy who was perched on the edge of a personal milestone - his 300th coaching victory.

What he did look like was the focused, intense coach who, like his team, is keeping his eyes on the big picture and seeing things that still need to be done to reach the the goal for their season.

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"This was number 299, really?" McNamee said. "I was honestly more concerned about the fact we were a little free and easy with the ball in the beginning of the game."

If the Hubs, who sprinted away from the Cougars to a comfortable 42-17 halftime lead, did anything to show a chink in their armor, it was the numerous early turnovers that caused McNamee to call a few animated timeouts to get his team back on track.

"We don't like turnovers, not even one," McNamee said. "But after we got going, I thought the team responded well and played with focus."

Even though North's marquee trio of Quielan Gantt, Marshall Branch and Bernard Harris spent some long stretches on the bench, the Hubs (16-4, 11-1) outscored the Cougars (6-12, 4-6) in every quarter.

The three accounted for 56 points, with Gantt scoring a game-high 21.

"We are at a point in the season where we know what we have to do," Gantt said. "We need to keep playing with intensity - every time out, one game at a time."

"We want to keep winning for Coach," Branch said. "But we don't want to stop at 300. We want him to get 306."

The North defense left Catoctin frustrated offensively as seemingly simple, open shots were batted away or pinned to the board.

"They are definitely a talented team," Catoctin coach Ryan Oman said. "We didn't play defense very well against them and that didn't help us offensively.

"You need the guys who will take a charge and get back on defense as much as you need the points guy who wants his name in the paper."

Adam Crone and Ben Rose had eight points each for the Cougars.

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