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Doing the Charleston

'Dogs rout Musselman to earn trip to states

'Dogs rout Musselman to earn trip to states

March 08, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Martinsburg reserved its spot in the West Virginia boys state tournament in Charleston next week with a team-oriented performance.

The Bulldogs were on top of their game Tuesday night and pushed aside Musselman 70-46 at Shepherd University's Butcher Center to win the Class AAA Region II championship.

Martinsburg returns to the state tournament for the first time since 2003 looking for its first title since 1994. Pairings will be announced Friday.

Martinsburg (19-5) shot 48 percent (30 of 63), dominated the rebounding 41-26 and was guilty of only seven turnovers while forcing 16 Musselman miscues.

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"We wanted to carry the last game over into tonight," said Andre Hornes, who led the Bulldogs with 27 points. "Our biggest problem was we weren't playing as a team. When we do, there's nobody that can beat us. The other team has to stop all of us."

Musselman (10-14) couldn't match Martinsburg's Emile Payne in the middle as the 6-foot-6 senior set the tone early defensively.

In the first four minutes, Payne blocked three shots and re-directed another, had two steals and three rebounds.

"Nobody was coming inside and I was going to contest them if they did," said Payne, who ended with five blocks, eight rebounds and three steals. "I just wanted to keep playing hard after the last game."

Musselman came out in a zone defense, hoping to keep Q'Mont Matheny at bay and Hornes from hurting the Applemen inside.

"We knew (Musselman) would come out in a zone," Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers said. "They wanted to deny Q and keep the ball out of the middle, but it's tough to do both."

Matheny scored only eight points, but he had six assists and backcourt sidekicks Xavier Peters (13 points) and Isaiah Alford (10 points) were troublesome for Musselman. Peters hit two baskets near the end of the first quarter that boosted Martinsburg to a 15-8 lead that never was threatened.

The Bulldogs led 35-17 at the break and only a 3-point barrage by Allen Kees in the third period kept the Applemen from falling off the map.

"We wanted (Kees) to work more off screens for the open shot in the second half and he got some good looks," Musselman coach Derek Basile said. "But (Martinsburg) is just so physical and strong. We had some good penetration early, but then we had some turnovers and they converted. They're so good inside."

Hornes dominated the third period, scoring eight points and grabbing five of his 11 rebounds.

"It feels good to go to Charleston," Hornes said. "We did our business tonight and now we're going to work as a team in practice."

Kees, with five 3-pointers in all, scored 16 for the Applemen, who shot only 30 percent (16 of 54) on the night, including 6-for-17 from behind the arc.

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