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Jefferson's bad start ends in victory

February 09, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

INWOOD, W.Va. - The Jefferson boys basketball team more than compensated for its first-half deficiencies.

After a miserable 16 minutes, the No. 6 Cougars pitched a third-period shutout and rebounded from a five-point deficit at the half to score a 57-37 win over Musselman on Wednesday night in an Apple Valley League game.

Less than 2 minutes into the third quarter, Musselman's halftime lead had evaporated as the Cougars (10-8) were heating up offensively, hitting five of their first six shots from the floor

"I was plenty worried (at the half)," said Jefferson coach Bob Starkey. "We went from a man-to-man to a match-up zone, and (the Applemen) just had trouble handling it. We got a couple traps, a couple turnovers and some easy shots."

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Despite being saddled with three fouls and scoring just three points in the first half, Ryland Newman - aided by the zone defense - scored 12 in the second half to lead all scorers with 15.

Newman wasn't the only one who struggled in the first half for Jefferson. The Applemen (8-10) took full advantage of Jefferson's 9-for-35 shooting in the half, forging a seven-point lead with 93 seconds left in the first half and settling for a 29-24 lead at the break. Sparked by Allen Kees and Michael Marsh with eight points each, Musselman pounded the glass, showed patience in its half-court set and drained 2 of 3 shots from beyond the arc.

"We wanted to play slow all night," said Musselman coach Derek Basile. "We wanted to keep the game in the high 40s or low 50s, and we had that going in the first half. But (Jefferson) started scoring in the second half."

While the Cougars hit 14 field goals and shot 64 percent in the second half, Musselman managed to hit just 2 of 15 shots and turned the ball over 14 times in the final 16 minutes.

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