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Rebels end losing skid

January 07, 2006|By JACK HILL III

South Hagerstown found out how the other half lives on Friday.

The Rebels ended their season-opening, five-game losing streak by beating Clear Spring 72-41 in an MVAL Antietam boys basketball game.

"One thing that I appreciate is that my kids did not take Clear Spring lightly," South Hagerstown coach Dennis Seman said. "We knew that Clear Spring is much improved from last year. My kids played hard from the beginning to the end."

Senior forward Dominique Byrd led South Hagerstown (1-5, 1-1) with 21 points, but was indebted to his supporting cast.

"We came out and played as a team, instead of just one man," Byrd said. "The offense felt good, because we ran the plays. In the last couple of games, we weren't running the plays. We are starting to come together as a team. We stepped our game up and we played our game. Tonight, we played hard."

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Muzammil Bhutto added 20 points for South, while Ben Caffarelli and Alvin Robertson added eight points.

"We weren't ready to play basketball tonight," Clear Spring coach Don Harnish said.

Scott Keeney led the Blazers (3-6, 1-2) with 15 points.

South raced to a 17-3 lead in the opening six minutes with Byrd scoring eight points.

"Dominique Byrd and Ben Caffarelli are giving good senior leadership to the team," Seman said. "The whole team was patient on offense. Our new saying is 'What are you willing to give up for the team?' We ask them that every day."

Byrd got seven points and Caffarelli added six points during the third quarter as the Rebels increased their advantage to 51-31.

South slowly built its lead, saving the largest advantage for the end when Bhutto's last-second layup provided the final 31 point bulge.

"I put my starters back on the floor, even with a comfortable lead, with 3 1/2 minutes left not to embarrass them," Seman said. "But I just wanted to let my starters feel what it is like to come off of the floor with a win. I have respect for Clear Spring. I am proud of the way that both teams played a hard game. The Clear Spring players probably did not know that they were down by 20 points, because they continued to play so hard."

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