Eagles use free throws as anthem for win over Cadets

February 17, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

FREDERICK, Md. - It was appropriate that Hedgesville and Frederick needed overtime to determine the outcome of Wednesday's boys basketball battle.

Each team controlled one half, but Hedgesville used an 8-for-10 effort at the foul line in the extra four minutes for the difference in a hard-earned 56-48 victory over the Cadets.

No. 1 Hedgesville (16-3) gave back the 31-20 halftime lead it built with an effective first half with a total of 13 points in the third and fourth quarters. Frederick (10-10) used the shooting theatrics of sophomore Steve Custis, including a NBA-length 3-pointer at the buzzer, to forge the 44-44 tie at the end of regulation.


"We dictated the first half with patience and made intelligent decisions in getting great shot selection," said Hedgesville coach Kelly Church. "We knew (Frederick) would make a run. They are an extremely strong, athletic and skilled team."

Hedgesville shot 55 percent in the first period on 11 of 20 and rode the shoulders of guard Mark Manspile's 14 points in the first 16 minutes.

Custis hit only 1 of 10 from the field in the first half while the Cadets shot 30 percent, but he caught fire with an 11-point third quarter, including Frederick's last nine points of the period. Custis scored the Cadets' last three on a bomb with 45 seconds left in the third quarter to give Frederick a 34-32 lead before Manspile scored the Eagles' only goal of the period to forge a 34-34 tie.

Hedgesville collected itself enough offensively to maintain an advantage through the fourth quarter, mainly from the line as Matt Deaner hit two freebies for a 44-41 lead with 5.1 seconds remaining, setting up Custis' tying shot.

Michael Lopez scored on a layup in the opening seconds of overtime and the Eagles never looked back. Lenwood House's putback brought the Cadets to back within 50-48 before the Eagles closed out the final 33 seconds with six free throws.

Deaner, who hit 10 of 15 foul shots, chalked up 4 of 6 in OT to put the finishing touches on the Eagles' huge advantage at the stripe, hitting 22 of 30 compared to Frederick's 2 of 7.

"We were flat at the beginning of the game, but that's no excuse," said Frederick coach Derek Shackelford. "We played a heckuva team tonight. They are so disciplined on offense."

The discipline nearly cost the Eagles, but the style may have also frustrated the athletic Cadets.

"The longer you make a 32-minute game, a team that is more athletic is going to win," said Church. "We were very patient and in some cases, maybe too patient."

That patience and early lead were huge keys for Hedgesville.

"With their offense they are so methodical and it gets to you as players," Shackkelford said. "With a team like that, you have to get ahead early."

Deaner finshed with 20 points and added 10 rebounds to lead Hedgesville, while Manspile finished with 17 points, matching his earlier season-high against Jefferson, and Lopez added 12 points.

"We knew this was going to be a tough team to play," said Manspile, who has been shaking the effects of illness for the past week. "They had beaten TJ and Coach told us we had to have our 'A' game. We had to play together."

Custiswith had 19 points, hitting 7 of 12 shots in the second half, for the Cadets, who had won six of their last seven games. House added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

"He's a cool kid that can shoot the rock," said Shackelford of Custis, who was coming off a 30-point effort in Tuesday's win over Liberty.

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