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Cougars eliminate Bulldogs in 2OT

March 03, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Josh Brown finished his identity change from being one of a bunch of small i's to become a capital I on Wednesday.

That's because Jefferson's guard was No. 1 when it made the difference for the Cougars.

Brown scored the final four points of the game to finish a dominating performance by Jefferson's backcourt - which overshadowed a Herculean 39-point effort by Martinsburg's Andre Hornes - to lead the Cougars to a thrilling 94-90 double-overtime victory in the West Virginia Class AAA Region II Section 2 opener at Shepherd University.

"When (Coach Bob Starkey) got here, he let us know from the beginning it's not one guy who wins games," Brown said. "He put us together as a team. We used to be a bunch of little I's."

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Brown and Ryland Newman teamed up with their quickness and penetration ability to leave Martinsburg's guards on their heels for the entire game.

After two extra periods, seven lead changes and 14 ties, it came down to the final 25 seconds of the second overtime. Martinsburg's Q'Monte Matheny hit a 3-pointer out of the left corner to tie the game at 90-90 with :26 remaining.

Jefferson quickly got the ball down the floor as Brown drove the right side of the lane to can a 5-footer off the baseline as the Cougars regained the lead with :16 remaining.

Martinsburg came out of a timeout looking for the tying score, but guard Jamaal Robinson stumbled on his move to the basket, allowing Brown to make a steal and go for a game-ending slam dunk for the final punctuation on his 26-point night.

"They couldn't run the floor with us," Brown said. "I told them at the end I wanted the ball and I took it from there. I got the score, but it took 10 of us to win."

Brown stepped up in a spot when Starkey wasn't exactly picky who took the ball as long as the job got done. It accomplished a mission which moved the Cougars (17-5) into Friday's section final game against top-seeded Hedgesville.

"I thought we wore them out," Starkey said. "At the end of the game, we were fresher and our guards were quicker. I told them at the end, 'You may be tired, but they are more tired.' In the end, I didn't care who had it. I told them to get into the press offense. That would put the ball in Ryland's or Josh's hands and I knew something good would happen."

Good things happened most every time a Jefferson guard handled the ball.

"They have much quicker guards and they really hit the boards," Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers said. "Our defense didn't stop them. It was their quickness and our inability to help on defense. How many shots did they hit from the outside? Not many cause they didn't have to."

Jefferson's final run tarnished a remarkable showing by Hornes, who all but put Martinsburg in a position to win the game.

The Cougars turned a one-point deficit into a 40-33 halftime lead behind the combined 21 points of Brown and Newman. But Martinsburg saddled up Hornes in the third quarter and rode him back into the game.

The junior forward used power moves on the inside and hit three consecutive 3-pointers outside to score 20 of Martinsburg's 26 points to knot the score at 59-59 after three quarters.

Hornes continued to spearhead Martinsburg's attack into the fourth quarter and the first overtime, until he became ill. He came out of the game with :40 left in overtime and vomited while the Bulldogs tried to break a 83-83 tie to win. They failed and Hornes was able to return, scoring four in the second overtime.

"Hornes had a wonderful game offensively," Rogers said. "When a young man plays like he did, goes and throws up and then goes out to score more points, he really wanted it."

Neither team led by more than three in the fourth quarter with Brown scoring in the final nine seconds to force overtime. The two teams traded baskets in a strategic first overtime.

Jefferson used a 6-2 run in the second OT, keyed by two acrobatic layups by Jeremy Powell for an 88-85 lead with two minutes left to set up the final drama.

Vance Hosby added 17 points while Tyler Hester and Reggie Creamer added 10 each for Jefferson. Matheny finished with 22 - including four 3s - while Robinson had 14.

"They were a lot quicker and their second shots killed us," Rogers said. "They threw some shots up - Whew - that went in almost like they had magnets on them. You got to do the little things that matter to win - like block out and stop second shots. It's all part of the game."

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