Hedgesville takes air out of South

January 24, 2007|by JOHN O'BRIEN / Staff Correspondent

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - South Hagerstown coach Dennis Seman wants to know the secret of Hedgesville's success.

The answer might surprise him.

Behind 17 points from J.R. Mayles, Hedgesville easily defeated the Rebels 71-28 Tuesday night, leaving Seman wondering why West Virginia schools seem to have a successful track record against Washington County schools.

There are the orthodox reasons, like the four-page scouting report on South that Eagles coach Kelly Church handed out to his players.

Then there are the unorthodox, like having the Eagles (10-2) use a flat ball during Saturday's four-hour practice. Church wanted to stress teamwork after a 59-49 loss to rival Martinsburg.


Also, on Tuesday night any player who dribbled more than twice on offense, failed to talk on defense or didn't sprint to the bench during timeouts was taken out of the game.

It resulted in a 65-percent shooting night (28 of 43), coupled with a defensive performance that didn't allow South more than nine points in any quarter and only 26 percent shooting (12 of 46).

"We knew it would be tough," said Seman, whose team fell to 4-10. "I tell you what, we could bring an all-star team from Washington County down here and not beat Hedgesville. That team is that good.

"As a coach, I want to know what they do with their system from middle school on up, so that we can do that in our county."

In addition to Mayles' 17, Michael Lopez and Denver Effland scored 11 for the Eagles, who scored the game's first 16 points.

Lopez started the scoring with a 3-pointer and contributed two assists during the run, while Effland scored twice on consecutive trips down the court to make it 16-0 with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter.

South missed its first eight shots until Sequan Baker hit a jumper with 2:25 remaining, but it was countered with another 3 by Lopez.

Muzhammil Bhutto was the only Rebel with more than five points, scoring 13, but he also shot 3 of 13 from the floor.

It was a step in the right direction for Hedgesville after Friday's loss, the second of the year to a sectional opponent.

And after Tuesday's easy win, it's hard to argue with Church's methods. Seman certainly won't.

"If you only practice with a flat ball, the only way you're going to score or get the ball up the court or anything is to play as a team," Church said.

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