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Here's to you, Mr. Robinson

Martinsburg junior nets career-high 20 points in win over Berkeley Springs

Martinsburg junior nets career-high 20 points in win over Berkeley Springs

February 19, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Not many people gave the Berkeley Springs boys basketball team much of a chance against No. 6 Martinsburg on Friday night. At halftime, the Bulldogs must have decided they were done giving out chances, too, turning what had been a tightly contested game into a 93-63 blowout. "I'm grateful for the win," said Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers, whose team led 37-30 at halftime. "The last thing we talked about before we left the locker room before the game was defensive intensity. It wasn't there until the second half." Actually, the Bulldogs (13-8) started showing signs of it late in the second quarter. After Tony Belt, who scored a team-high 20 points for the Indians (12-8), went 1-for-2 from the free throw line to knot the game 28-28 with 2:47 left in the first half, Martinsburg ripped off nine unanswered points to pull ahead for good. Junior guard Jamal Robinson came off the bench to score seven of his career-high 20 points in the run, starting it with a 3-pointer from the right wing and capping it with a layup in transition. "The coach just said, 'Play hard, play good defense and your shots will fall,'" Robinson said. Scotti Smith must have been listening, too. The senior forward scored the first eight points of the third quarter, including back-to-back treys, as Martinsburg opened the second half on an 18-1 run to take a 55-31 lead. "I came out with the urge to take over the game," Smith said. "We realized we were going to have a game if we didn't step it up. First half, we were standing around. Second half, we were moving the ball around and finding the open people, making it easy to score." If the Bulldogs had a problem in the first half, it might have been that they didn't expect a problem with small-school Berkeley Springs. Please turn to BULLDOGS, B4 Continued from B1 "It's hard to get up for a game like this and come out focused," Smith said. "It's not the competition we're used to seeing." Actually, it might have been the first time the teams ever saw other, at the least the first time in recent memory. "It's the first time I've ever played them," said Rogers, in his 26th year at the Martinsburg helm. "I'm not sure if Martinsburg has ever played Berkeley Springs." The Indians were up for the task early. They led three times, all in the first quarter. Ryan Morris, who finished with 18 points, hit a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left in the opening period to put Berkeley Springs up 20-19, its last lead of the night. Smith answered with a 3 to give the Bulldogs a 22-20 edge heading into the second quarter. "We stuck with them. Our shots were falling. I thought we had a good chance," said Belt, who had 10 points in the first quarter. "But it didn't get easier after the first quarter. They started double-teaming me and shut me down." Nathan Sirbaugh added 13 points for the Indians. For Martinsburg, Q'Monte Matheny scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, sharing team-high honors with Robinson, while Smith ended with 19 points and Jeremy Brown had 10.

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