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Hubs use late run to skin 'Cats

February 02, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

Live by the 3. Die by the 3. Revive by the 3.

North Hagerstown was 3-for-3 on the 3 trilogy Tuesday to come back against Willamsport's triple threat of patience, precision and tenacity.

After trailing for most of the game, the No. 9 Hubs found the stroke and the tempo they needed to come back from a 10-point deficit and hang a 77-70 MVAL Antietam loss on the Wildcats.

"We were too 3-oriented early," North coach Tim McNamee said. "We didn't distribute the ball and did too much one-on-one, trying to do it all by themselves. That's not us, but we didn't panic. (Dee) Mency and (Quielan) Gantt are our shooters, and they hit some 3s."

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Mency hit three of his four treys in the second half on the way to 25 points. Gantt added a fourth trey among his 25 points as North slowly dissolved Williamsport's lead. The Hubs were down 52-47 after three quarters and finally caught the Wildcats on Mency's final 3-pointer with 2:11 remaining.

Each team finished with 26 baskets and 16 foul shots, but North (12-4, 8-0) hit nine 3-pointers to Williamsport's two, making the difference in the final score.

"They really hit some big 3s in the fourth quarter, and you have to give them credit because they weren't easy looks," Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray said. "It's a clich, but basketball is a game of streaks and they got the last one."

The early ones went Williamsport's way, thanks to the Wildcats' deliberate play. Williamsport used 6-foot-7 Corey Broadwater to its advantage, dumping him passes inside for power moves to the basket.

Broadwater scored 14 of his 23 points in the first half as Williamsport controlled the game.

North jumped to a 17-9 lead early with the help of 3-pointers by Jarell Rodriguez and Mency. But Williamsport settled into its patient, ball-control style. The Wildcats unloaded a 21-2 run over a 7:45 span for a 30-19 advantage. Broadwater scored seven in the burst while Adam Richardson came off the bench to add four.

"We knew this game was going to be like this going in," McNamee said. "We talked about it before the game, but nothing seemed to go our way for three quarters and we got into foul trouble.

"They gave us a game that you have to be able to win. We had to gut through it."

Williamsport held a 52-42 lead with 1:14 remaining in the third quarter after a three-point play by Phillip Jordan.

North started the definitive comeback when Mency took control after being forced into a point guard role with Rodriguez on the bench with foul trouble. His slashing to the basket and ability to shoot from outside, combined with North's interior defense on Broadwater, opened the door for the Hubs.

"We couldn't get the ball inside to Cory or Adam in the second half," Mowbray said. "We didn't panic, but they got some quickness. We beat some of their jump-and-run presses, but we missed the layups at the end. You have to finish, and we weren't able to convert."

Mency hit a foul shot and a breakaway layup before Gantt made a steal and scored to give North the final five points of the third quarter to close within 52-47.

Williamsport maintained the lead until the trio of 3s by Mency and Rodriguez keyed an 11-4 run and tied the game at 67-67 with 2:11 remaining. North pulled away at the end, making 5 of 8 foul shots down the stretch.

"We had trouble keeping Mency out of the lane at the end," Mowbray said. "He got inside and then would dish out to open things. I'm disappointed about the game, but not the effort of the kids. We started out 0-5 and then we got a run of five of our own."

Jordan scored 22 for Williamsport.

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