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Knights top Winters Mill

Rebels next

March 03, 2004|by CHRIS CARTER

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - Middletown's boys basketball team started Tuesday night's Maryland Class 2A West quarterfinal matchup with Winters Mill ice cold and finished it scorching hot.

After a sluggish first five minutes, the fourth-seeded Knights were able to flare up some momentum and despite several extinguishing attempts by fifth-seeded Winters Mill, Middletown notched a 70-49 victory to advance to the region semifinals.

"We haven't played in over a week and it showed," said Middletown coach Jon Jarrett. "We came out rusty and we didn't shoot as well as we would have liked."

The Knights (16-7) made just two field goals through the first five minutes and trailed, 8-4.

Then the Knights got a much needed spark, outscoring Winters Mill 12-0 over the final 2:47 of the quarter for a 16-8 lead.

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John Keimig led the way with five of his game-high 24 points, including two free throws after a technical foul was called on Winters Mill's Dave Herman.

After increasing its lead to 18-8 early in the second quarter, the Knights fell into another cold spell, though not as severe as before. The Falcons scored seven of the next 11 points to cut the defecit to seven with 4:17 remaining in the first half.

Middletown stopped the bleeding by scoring the final six points of the quarter for a 28-17 halftime lead.

"We came out flat in the first half," said Keimig. "We really wanted to get things going in the second half because we know we are better than we showed."

The Knights opened the second half with a Jonathan Hall 3-pointer for a 31-17 lead. The Falcons answered with four straight points to get to within 10, but that's as close as Winters Mill got.

The Knights built a 46-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter, when the game became a rout.

"Our pressure defense created some turnovers and easy baskets for us," said Jarrett. "John (Keimig) got some nice steals and that got us going."

Keimig scored 11 of Middletown's first 13 points to give the Knights their biggest lead of the game, 59-34, just 2:30 into the fourth quarter.

Kyle Lear had 13 points and Hall added 12 in the win.

"The older guys really played well tonight, but the younger guys also stepped up when we needed", said Keimig. "I think when we're playing at our best, we can play with anyone in the state."

The Knights travel to top-seeded South Hagerstown in the region semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m.

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