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Urbana plays like legends vs. Hubs

December 16, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

North Hagerstown's undersized boys basketball team played with all the toughness, determination and heart it could muster on Friday night.

But in the end, Urbana was simply better. Much better.

The Hawks made nine of their 11 3-pointers in the first half and made 34 of their 58 overall shots - a blistering 58.6 percent - to earn an overpowering 83-56 victory over the Hubs.

"We just ran into a shooting machine," North coach Tim McNamee said. "We didn't get out on them early, but then when we did get out on them, they still hit."

A.J. Gardner made six 3s for all of his 18 points, while Mike Jarboe and Mike Mullikin each scored 17 for Urbana (2-1), which displayed an awesome offensive attack.

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The Hawks beat North (1-3) both in transition and in the halfcourt, routinely driving the lane and either creating an easy scoring opportunity in close or kicking it out to an open shooter, who more often than not did not miss.

Urbana made four of its first five shots - and the only miss was put right back in by Mullikin on an offensive rebound - while forcing the Hubs into three misses and a turnover for an 8-0 lead.

The Hubs cut it to three twice, but the Hawks put on a shooting clinic for the rest of the half - they made 19 of 29 shots in the first half (65.5 percent) - to take a 49-30 lead into the break.

North cut the lead to 14 several times in the second half but could get no closer, despite playing a spirited brand of basketball. The Hubs never quit fighting, with Diez Johnson bulldozing his way to a game-high 22 points, Freddie Matthews adding 12 points and Tyrone Wheeler nine points and seven rebounds.

"We hung in there and got it to 14. I admire our effort," McNamee said. "I thought we played pretty well offensively. We had decent shot selection. We just couldn't stop them.

"We're not a great team right now, but we are a bunch of competitors. We will compete and we will get better. How much better remains to be seen. But we will compete regardless of the score or the situation."

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