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Rockets roll over Indians

January 25, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - In the first meeting between Mid-Penn Capital rivals James Buchanan and Waynesboro, the Indians won the game with a fourth-quarter surge.

JB guard Brandon Bryan didn't want any part of that the second time around.

The Rockets' junior guard tortured Waynesboro with his stop-and-pop jump shooting to score a game-high 23 points and guide No. 5 JB to 66-40 thumping of the No. 7 Indians on Tuesday night.

"Lately, I've been able to shoot the ball well. I have a lot of confidence in that shot," Bryan said. "We didn't want anything like what happened last time. We wanted to put them away early and make sure it didn't come down to the end."

Bryan was referring to the 61-52 loss at Waynesboro on Dec. 22, when the Indians erased a nine-point deficit and outscored the Rockets 24-13 in the fourth quarter.

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"We responded with our backs against the wall that night. We didn't tonight," said Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman.

JB (15-3, 6-1) made sure there was no deja vu in the rematch as it began to pull away in the second quarter, outscoring Waynesboro 18-9 to take a 30-20 lead. The Rockets virtually put the game away during an explosive third quarter, scoring the last 12 points to take a 52-28 lead.

Waynesboro (12-5, 4-3) hit just 2 of 15 shots in the period and trailed by double digits for most of the second half, which led to poor shot selection - many from beyond the 3-point line.

"It seemed like once we got down that everyone wanted to bring us back themselves," Hoffman said. "We were taking some bad shots. The intent was good, but we just had a rough night shooting."

Making shooting woes much more frustrating for the Indians was Bryan, who seemed to be making everything and continued to be the hot hand for the JB offense. Bryan hit eight field goals - seven on jump shots beyond 12 feet. The precise shooting opened up scoring opportunities for other Rockets.

Shane Rife muscled inside and out to score 12 points, while Shase Hollenshead hit three 3s and finished with 11 points.

"Brandon understands the game. He understands that other guys are screening for him to get open. Then when (other teams) focus on him, the other guys get open and he finds them. He sees the floor well."

Kevin Kline proved to be the most effective threat for Waynesboro. The Indians' forward found success on inside forays and scored 21 points to lead the team, but facing a growing deficit, the Indians could not afford to consistently go into the paint - and when they did, the points were virtually meaningless.

The win extends JB's lead over Waynesboro to two games in the Capital division, leaving Greencastle as the closest threat to the Rockets. Both teams have just one divisional loss and will face each other on Jan. 31.

"What was at stake really helped motivate us," Bryan said. "We knew we had to win if we wanted to stay on top. We didn't want to be in a three-way tie again."

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