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'Dogs need classic 2nd half to win

December 29, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail. com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - They'd prefer not to be known as a second-half team, but that's exactly what Martinsburg was once again on Wednesday night.

Down by as many as 13 points early and by seven at halftime, Martinsburg put some bark into its game and captured its own Bulldog Classic, 78-71 over Wheeling Park.

In the consolation game, Jefferson defeated St. Maria Goretti, 44-42.

"We had some athletes that did not do their job in the first half," said Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers. "It's like a new Cadillac without gas ... we have athletes and they aren't doing their job all the time."

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While Q'Monte Matheny sparkled from the outset and scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, Andre Hornes and Emile Payne were non-existent. Hornes started the second half on the bench.

"He (Hornes) deserved to be (on the bench), but he gave the effort when he got in," said Rogers. "And Xavier Peters was the 'X factor' at both ends of the floor."

Except for a 5-2 lead, Martinsburg (5-0) trailed until Isaiah Alford scored off a rebound to put the Bulldogs ahead 62-61 with 4:55 to play.

Martinsburg kept stride with the Patriots and had a 66-65 lead with 2:05 left on a bucket by Hornes, who scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half.

Alford had a beautiful underhanded scoop in the paint and Hornes added two more hoops - one on a floor-length drive after a rebound - and the Bulldogs led 72-65 with 45 seconds remaining against West Virginia's No. 3-ranked team in the preseason.

Alford added 11 points and Peters had nine, while reserves Aaron Crim and Trent Reid were valuable floor additions with four points each. Sticky defense helped thwart the Patriots, who shot 60 percent in the first half.

"Reid and Crim came off the bench, had key buckets and, in the end, we really had a nice team effort," said Rogers.

Keyshawn Creighton led Wheeling Park (2-3) with 26 points, hitting 12 of 15 shots, including three authoritative dunks.

- Jefferson controlled all aspects of the game in the first 11 minutes as it rolled to a 19-9 lead on the strength of a pair of 3-pointers by Desmond Newman and a goal by Ryland Newman.

Goretti (6-7) charged to a 32-26 lead early in the third period on a pair of baskets by Andrew Chambers around a score by Logan Bolinger.

However, the Cougars (3-1) bounced back, using four points from Vance Hosby and a pair of goals by Dewey McDonald to assume a 35-32 lead they never relinquished.

"Not that we wanted to, but we played Goretti's way and showed some patience," said Jefferson coach Bob Starkey. "Sometimes when you get a 10-point lead, these kids want to go-go-go, but they showed me some patience."

The Cougars not only won despite hitting just 4 of 13 from the line, but managed the victory without any scoring punch from Josh Brown, who scored four points and shot only three times.

"(Josh) had six turnovers, but he showed he's not a selfish player," said Starkey.

"We had them where we wanted when we got back into the game," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson. "But, we had some crucial errors down the stretch and (Jefferson) dominated inside."

Hosby led Jefferson with 14 points and five rebounds. Chambers and Gene Johnson, who fouled out with 2 minutes remaining, had 11 points each for Goretti. Chambers also had 10 rebounds.

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