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Bombs away Blue Storm puts on air show to ground

Blue Storm puts on air show to ground

Blue Storm puts on air show to ground

February 23, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - The Air Force couldn't deliver as many direct hits in such a short time as Mercersburg Academy did on Wednesday night at Nolde Gymnasium.

After squandering a 13-point first-half lead, No. 1 Mercersburg Academy came out firing missiles from its wings and took command of the air space against No. 2 Martinsburg to fly off with a convincing 75-48 verdict.

The Blue Storm artillery-mates of Josh Davis, Colin Cubit and Tim Rahauser maneuvered their way through Martinsburg's zone defense for seven 3-pointers in the third period alone, igniting a 27-point quarter and turn Martinsburg's 31-30 halftime lead into a 57-39 Blue Storm advantage.

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"It was an electrifying third period," said Davis, who was the ringleader of the air attack with all four of his 3-pointers, including the first two to break a 32-32 tie and give the Blue Storm (22-3) a 38-32 lead.

"That was one of the best periods of the year," said Blue Storm coach Mark Cubit. "Timmy (Rahauser) was a spark and they did it all on their own. I was very impressed."

In addition, Mercersburg was turnover-free in the quarter, offsetting its 13 first-half mistakes.

Colin Cubit followed Davis with a 3-pointer and Rahauser sandwiched treys around an Alex Tyler field goal to move Mercersburg to a 49-35 advantage by the three minute mark of the third quarter.

"We had a combination of things working," said Davis. "We were penetrating the inside, setting good screens and kicking the ball back to the open man."

Mercersburg hit 7 of 10 from the 3-point line in the decisive period and ended ended with 11 of 17 for the game while shooting shot 61 percent overall (28 of 47).

After the third-period barrage had settled with an 18-point lead, the Blue Storm eliminated any thoughts the Bulldogs may have had of duplicating their first-half comeback.

Cubit hit two 3-pointers and Rahauser finished off with five points before each bench emptied for the final 90 seconds.

"My head is still spinning," said Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers. "We didn't adjust very well with our zone defense and when we did, it was too late."

Mercersburg dominated the first four minutes of the game behind Eduardo Archibold-Brown's quick six points to roll to a 15-2 lead. Archibold-Brown ended with 16 points.

"I think (Martinsburg) probably tried to pushed Eduardo around too much early ," said Mark Cubit. "He's a big, strong kid (6-foot-8) and has been playing much better in the last five games or so."

Martinsburg fought back behind Andre Hornes and Q'Monte Matheny and for a 12-minute period heading into the break, outscored Mercersburg 29-15 to forge a 31-30 halftime lead. That lead came on a bucket by Hornes with 1:27 left for the Bulldogs' only advantage all night.

The Bulldogs took advantage of numerous Blue Storm turnovers, Tyler heading to the sideline with a third personal foul and a better shooting percentage to climb back into the affair.

Five Blue Storm reached double figures, led by Colin Cubit's 18 points. Tyler had 13, Davis 12 and Rahauser 11 and Mercersburg also commanded the boards, 40-25, with Archibold-Brown and Tyler each grabbing nine and Davis eight.

Matheny hit four 3-pointers to lead Martinsburg with 16 points. Hornes had 13 along with a team-high eight rebounds. The Bulldogs ended 17 of 53 for 32 percent from the floor.

"We have to get over this one awful fast ... really fast," said Rogers, as the Bulldogs must now focus on the West Virginia postseason.

Mercersburg Academy's Alex Tyler (50) looks for a place to pass the ball around the defense of Martinsburg's Travis Williams (22) during the second half of the Blue Storm's resounding 75-48 victory over the Bulldogs.

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