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Eagles stun No. 2 Cougars

January 14, 2006|By TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. -

Just nine games into his varsity basketball career, Jordan Reed has suddenly become a name Hedgesville fans aren't going to forget.

For that matter, Jefferson won't, either.

With one tick left on the clock, the 5-foot-8 freshman guard calmly sank both ends of a 1-and-1 opportunity under enormous pressure that gave Hedgesville a shocking 52-51 victory over No. 2 Jefferson at Shepherd University on Friday night.

"I believed in myself and I thought I could go and make both shots," said Reed, whose 15 points tied for the team lead with Michael Lopez. Both were involved in the play that eventually put Reed at the line.

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Jefferson's Josh Brown gave the Cougars (6-2) a 51-50 lead on a slashing drive to the hoop on an assist from Ryland Newman with 7 seconds remaining.

Following a timeout by Hedgesville (6-3), Lopez was hounded in the frontcourt by Newman but managed to flip the ball to Reed, who was fouled by Newman.

Jefferson coach Bob Starkey called time, and while the teams huddled, Hedgesville coach Kelly Church had a brief discussion with his "diaper dandy."

"(Coach) told me whether I miss or make the shot, 'I love ya,'" said Reed.

"I reminded him that everyone had to make 10 free throws in practice in preseason to leave ... to think about how far we've come ... and that I still love him miss or make," said Church.

Lopez, who fueled the Hedgesville comeback at the outset of the final period with five points that cut a 29-19 deficit to 41-39, said he had confidence in his teammate.

"I'm thinking he's gonna make both shots all the way," said Lopez. "We wanted to drive the ball and then kick it out, but we were able to save it."

The Eagles finally caught Jefferson on another 3-pointer by Lopez with 4:14 remaining to tie it at 44-44. After a Jefferson turnover, Reed drove the lane for a basket and a 46-44 lead with 3:44 left.

Jefferson reclaimed a 49-46 lead on a free throw by Brown and goal by Vance Hosby, but the Eagles came back for a 50-49 lead on two free throws by J.R. Mayles and another bucket by Reed.

While the Eagles attempted to pack the inside defensively early, Jefferson went with 3-point shots, hitting five in the first half. The Cougars led the entire game until Lopez's 3.

Church said the Hedgesville style of play seems to always make it tough on Jefferson.

"Everyone knows we try to be patient, take good shots and be more disciplined than the other team we're playing," he said. "(Jefferson's) 3s hurt us early and we thought at halftime if we can withstand any punch from them early, we can come back."

Reed, maybe too young to be scared by being in easily his biggest game to date as an Eagle, was certain "that we didn't played scared and everyone contributed."

Another freshman, Mayles, added 14 points and five rebounds. He also made four straight free throws at crunch time. Denver Effland, who had to be helped to the sideline with 15 seconds left with cramps in both legs, added seven points and helped hold Jefferson's Hosby to two points.

Ryland Newman had 14 points for Jefferson and Brown added 12. Overall, the Eagles shot 17 of 32 and Jefferson hit 18 of 42.

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