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Mency's scoring record helps give Hubs Liberty

March 01, 2006|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Using it's own grading system, the North Hagerstown basketball team got a "Dee" on Tuesday.

Dee Mency ignited the Hubs' offense with 34 points to set a school single-season scoring record while guiding North to a 77-69 victory over Liberty in a Maryland Class 2A West quarterfinal.

"We all knew that it was the playoffs and we all knew that we had to step it up," Mency said. "That just fueled our offense. Our defensive intensity helped to get the offense going. We got the lead early and we knew that took some of the pressure off of our shoulders.

"We knew that we still had to play a full 32 minutes. I just took the inside shots and let the game come to me. Later, I was also able to make a few outside shots."

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And there were many opportunities for Mency, who has 557 points this season to eclipse the mark of 555 points set in the 1971-72 season by John Smothers during North's state championship season under coach Jim Brown.

The outburst was a huge addition to the Hubs' attack. North (17-6) broke out quickly, held a sizeable advantage and then weathered a closing storm by Liberty to earn a home game Thursday against Middletown in the region semifinal.

"Dee Mency had a great game," North coach Tim McNamee said. "We found him early, but it was a combination of everybody finding each other. We are more effective when we are able to get everybody a touch. Dee did it from just about anywhere: Inside, medium range and outside. He just had a complete game.

"The key was that we just got off to a great start. We came out ready to play and we got a little cushion to work with. I thought that particularly early in the game, we moved the ball well and we got some real good looks against their zone."

The Hubs broke from the gate in the first 2 minutes by scoring the game's first 11 points.

Liberty rallied to stay within striking distance, but trailed 35-28 at halftime. The Hubs outscored the Lions 22-11 during the third quarter to expand the lead to 57-39.

Richard Baymon started the fourth quarter with a basket to give the Hubs their largest lead, 59-39.

Liberty made its run and sliced North's lead to 68-65 with 57 seconds remaining. The Hubs righted the ship by outscoring the Lions 9-4 to close the game.

Mency added four steals to help out on defense while North helped itself by dishing out 24 assists and hitting 18 of 28 foul shots.

Tyrell Wilson had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Hubs. Jarell Rodriguez contributed 15 points and 10 assists for North, while Fred Kreiger grabbed seven rebounds for the Hubs.

Center Jason Smith had 27 points and 13 rebounds for Liberty (13-11). Spencer Slieght scored 19 points and Leroy Wheatley dished out five assists for the Lions.

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