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No. 2 Eagles share in victory over No. 5 Jefferson

January 15, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Hedgesville is high school basketball's version of a group of environmentalists.

Trees are safe because the Eagles' entire game plan can be printed on a 3-by-5 postcard. Why waste paper when your goal is to do a few things well?

"All we can do is what we do," Hedgesville coach Kelly Church said. "We have to do that extremely well. And if we do it, we can be extremely successful."

Hedgesville's little went a long way on Friday as its style of organized mayhem made Jefferson come unglued in the final five minutes and the Eagles pulled away for an 81-71 victory at the Gilbert B. Miller Health & Physical Education Center.

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"We have to play unselfish and we have to share the basketball," Church said. "If we go out and play one-on-one, we are not very good."

No. 2 Hedgesville picked its spots to take it to more athletic No. 5 Jefferson. Those spots came in the form of a wide-open, motion offense which resembled the onslaught you might see when the doors are opened at the mall for shopping the day after Christmas.

The Eagles swarmed all over the floor to spread Jefferson's defense thinner than deli roast beef, getting the Cougars to overplay and get out of position.

"We broke down defensively," Jefferson coach Bob Starkey said. "When we have our two best defensive players (guards Ryland Newman and Josh Brown) getting beat, we are in a lot of trouble. We just aren't disciplined enough yet on offense."

Hedgesville's offensive action plan and willy-nilly form of patience got Jefferson in the end.

The Cougars led 37-34 at halftime by playing a fast-paced game that put the Eagles on their heels. But Hedgesville weaved themselves back into the game with opportunistic drives, which were rewarded with baskets or Jefferson fouls.

"The difference tonight is that we only got two 3s," Church said. "All the rest of our baskets were 4-footers and in to go with the foul shots."

Hedgesville regained the lead at 53-50 at the end of three quarters and nursed it to 62-60 after Jefferson's Vance Hosby scored on an 8-footer off the left baseline with 4:50 remaining.

The Eagles' less-than-diversified attack locked in and took out the Cougars once and for all. Matt Leborious started a 10-0 Hedgesville run with one of many strong moves to the basket. Matt Deaner, who finished with a game-high 29 points, added a four-point spurt. He hit two foul shots, then tipped a pass on Jefferson's side of the floor which went to Tyler Hockman, who returned the ball to Deaner for a finishing layup.

Mark Manspile followed with four more points and Hedgesville was riding a 72-60 advantage with 3:05 remaining.

Jefferson tried to scratch back, but foul problems forced Starkey to make offense-to-defense substitutions while a few ill-advised shots opened the door more for the Eagles.

"Everytime they needed something, they got something," Starkey said. "And then they got more with foul shots."

Hedgesville continued to use its spread-out motion attack and iced the game with a combination of foul shots and layups. The Eagles hit 31 of 41 free throws in the game, including 13 of 15 by Deaner. Hedgesville's last five points in the final two minutes were all foul shots.

Manspile complemented Deaner with 17 points, while Leborious finished with 15. Newman had 23 for Jefferson, including three of the Cougars' seven 3s, while Brown finished with 18.

"I told them to be quick when they went to the basket," Church said. "When we were turning the ball over, we were getting helter-skelter and that's when we get in trouble. If I lined up one of our guys to run baseline-to-baseline with Josh Brown, we would lose. We had to play smart and pick our spots."

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