Hubs turn up pressure, top Rebels

February 16, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

First-aid classes teach the concept of applying pressure to stop the bleeding.

That certainly worked for North Hagerstown's girls basketball team Wednesday.

Trailing 8-4, the Hubs applied defensive pressure, forced 22 first-half turnovers and squashed cross-town rival South Hagerstown 62-42 in an MVAL Antietam contest.

"If you play good pressure defense, you get steals," said North coach Barry Brown. "If you get steals, you get easy buckets. If you get easy buckets, you get confidence. It's not rocket science."

For North (11-9, 7-6), having a deep bench helped.

"We didn't handle their pressure very well," said South coach Ray Singletary. "When they run five players in and five players out, and we only have seven players, it's kind of tough."


After six straight points from Sade Williams gave the Rebels (1-17, 1-13) the 8-4 lead midway through the first period, North went on an offensive rampage, scoring 32 of the next 36 points for a 36-12 lead at the half. Shawayna Morel had 11 of her 16 points and Susana Brown six of her eight points during the spree.

"We've been a notoriously slow-starting team," said Barry Brown. "(South) came out and played really well at the beginning of the game. But I knew if we played a little smarter, things would turn our way, and they did."

Thanks to its harassing defense - made even more effective by its superior depth - North didn't allow the Rebels to get any closer than 20 points in the second half.

The Hubs' lead expanded to a high of 28 points with 3:43 left in the game before the Rebels, behind Brianna Hammond, scored the final eight points.

Williams led all scorers with 17 point and Hammond chipped in 13 for South.

"I'm very satisfied offensively," said Singletary. "That's the best we've played in a long time passing the ball. Brianna and Sade did a good job getting open, and the other players did a good job getting the ball to them."

The Rebels connected on 11 of 13 free throws (85 percent).

Valentina Wheeler had 12 points and five rebounds for North, while Morel corralled six rebounds.

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