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North shooters gun down Pats

December 14, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Thomas Johnson outrebounded North Hagerstown by 21 and scored 28 points off 18 offensive boards - numbers that would spell doom for the Hubs' boys basketball team most of the time.

Fortunately for North, good things come in threes.

The Patriots' 2-3 zone defense proved to be the perfect invitation for the height-deprived Hubs, who unleashed a barrage of long-range parabolas and made 11 3-pointers - 10 in the second and third quarters combined.

Dee Mency had five 3s on the way to a game-high 25 points, Fred Kreiger made three treys and finished with 18 points and North just barely made a 15-point lead after three quarters stand up, knocking off TJ 71-70 on Tuesday night.

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"We got some good looks out of our break and in our offense," Hubs coach Tim McNamee said. "We didn't shoot well early but we got it going. (Dee and Fred) made some huge shots."

Kreiger found his range first, making a 15-footer from the left wing and a 3 from the left corner as North (2-0) took a 9-4 lead in the first four minutes. But the Patriots (0-2) finished the frame on an 11-0 run on the strength of seven offensive boards for a 15-9 edge.

Trailing 19-11 in the second quarter, the Hubs starting hoisting and hoping - and their hopes were fulfilled as TJ packed its defense in. Mency made four 3s and Kreiger two, and North went into halftime up, 32-29.

"When (TJ) switched to a zone, I knew I'd be able to get my shot off easier if we worked the ball around," Mency said. "The other guys were hitting, and it helped my confidence.

After I hit the first one, I got in a rhythm."

The Hubs were in rhythm through the third quarter, scoring the first seven points on buckets by Tyrell Wilson and Kreiger and Jarell Rodriguez's three-point play. A six-point TJ run cut the lead to 39-35, but Mency, Richard Bayman, Greg Hamms and Rodriguez all made 3s later in the quarter - Rodriguez's coming at the buzzer on a fadeaway from the left corner that bounced on the rim several times before dropping through for a 57-42 lead.

The clock was the Hubs' best friend in the fourth quarter, as the Patriots attempted to pull off a huge comeback. TJ scored 28 fourth-quarter points, outrebounding North 11-4 in the final eight minutes, but in the end the Patriots ran out of time.

Rodriguez, battling a cramp in his left calf, sank two free throws with 19.8 seconds left to make it 71-65, and they proved to be the difference.

"Our main thing was to get (the ball) to him or Dee, since they're probably our two best foul shooters," McNamee said. "I have the option to take (Rodriguez) out and let someone else shoot it, but I'd rather have him shoot with a cramp."

Rodriguez finished with 14 points - nine coming after halftime.

Tyler Snoots had 20 points and Mike Selckmann 15 for TJ, which hurt itself at the foul line, making only 10 of 21 attempts.

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