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Rebels find transition in is in transition

December 16, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

South Hagerstown boys basketball coach Dennis Seman was coaching all the way to the very end, even though his Rebels were being waxed by Tuscarora on Friday night.

"We're really a work in progress but I know we are going to keep getting better," said Seman after South lost its home opener and fourth straight game to begin the season, 82-62.

Muzammil Bhutto scored 23 points for the Rebels, but it was not nearly enough to offset the Titans' Dereck Holland, who put down a 28-point, seven-rebound performance.

The Rebels were beaten badly in the transition game as Tuscarora used effective outlet passes and high-octane movement to score quick baskets while the South defense was backpedaling.

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"We have 12 days until our next game and we'll work much more on the transition phase," said Seman.

South led 2-0 out of the gate when Bhutto knocked down a jumper, and after Tuscarora didn't score for nearly the first three minutes of the game, the Titans ran off 11 straight points, seven coming in transition.

Tuscarora shot nearly 55 percent in the first half on the way to a 37-30 lead.

Then Holland went to work and pounded South with 14 points in the third quarter, hitting 6 of 7 shots from the floor.

But the Titans couldn't totally shake the Rebels as Bhutto hit three 3-pointers in the period, the third coming with 2:01 left and getting South to within 10 points at 59-49.

Holland answered the trey with a drive on the baseline, punctuated with a slam dunk, on the way to a 63-49 lead after three defensive stops. A 16-2 run to open the final period, which included a 3-pointer by Holland, put the game out of reach.

"(Holland) was too big inside for us to handle," said Seman.

Bhutto, one of only two South returning starters, hit 4 of 6 from beyond the arc but only 3 of 11 inside and also led South with seven rebounds.

"Muz wants to be a leader but early on he feels the pressure of scoring because he's trying to work the other (guards) to a point on the floor where he can get them the ball," said Seman. "Once we figure which guards can help, (Muz) will have his shot, and I can also give him some rest."

The Rebel defense also found it tough to defend against a Titan offense that ended the game 32 of 53 for 60 percent. the 6-foot-3 Holland ended 12-of-16 shooting.

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