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'Dogs have way with ND's 'trees'

December 22, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Athleticism can offset a height disadvantage in many ways. Martinsburg proved it has the ingredients to negate the opposing big boys.

The Bulldogs used their quickness in end-to-end fashion on the way to a 72-55 victory over Notre Dame Academy for a successful opener in their newly renovated gym.

With Notre Dame (5-7) starting a front line of three players of at least 6-foot-6, Martinsburg's priority was to play solid defense and get off to a fast start.

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"I was definitely worried about their size advantage," said Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers. "I thought we could play them tough with a man defense in the beginning."

"Coach told us we had to box out on defense to be successful because of their height," said 6-5 Andre Hornes, one of three Bulldogs that came close to matching Notre Dame's height.

Hornes had 11 of his 20 points in the opening period, including a rim-rattling slam dunk on an assist from Emile Payne, but Martinsburg couldn't do much better than a 15-13 lead after the opening quarter.

"I wanted to try a get a good start, pick it up and stay hot," said Hornes of his opening-period effort.

Point guard Q'Monte Matheny hit a trey, Jordan Jackson muscled inside for six points and Hornes buried a 3-pointer as the Bulldogs pushed to a 29-20 cushion with 1:56 left in the half.

With his infinite coaching wisdom, Rogers shuffled his defense to a 2-3 zone at the outset of the second half.

"(Notre Dame) showed us they weren't going to hurt us that much from the outside so we went zone," said Rogers.

Only Patrick Beehans' 12 points in the second half kept the Dragons from even being on the same court as Matheny took over the offensive show in the third qaurter with eight of his game-high 23 points. In one short swoop, Matheny knocked down a 3-pointer and followed with a nifty fake at the arc to step inside the line for a nothin-but-net two and the Bulldogs had a 14-point lead, 42-28.

Andy Matheny didn't quit, scoring eight more points in the opening three minutes of the final period as Martinsburg raced to a 63-42 advantage.

"It's my responsibility as a point guard to be a leader on the floor with Andre and Emile," said Matheny. "I'm getting a chance to score, but my objective is to be a leader. I think we can be pretty good."

The racehorse Bulldogs didn't slow down to the end, althoough Rogers would have liked to see more control with a large lead. Martinsburg was guilty of six of its 15 turnovers in the last three minutes.

"The kids hustled and did a great job of passing the basketball," said Rogers. "Overall, it was a good effort. It was racehorse and sometimes at the end you have to pull back the reins."

Newcomer Isaiah Alford, a 6-2 junior guard, added nine points and was a team leader in assists with six, responsible for much of the passing game.

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