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Rebels' offense rises to occasion

January 27, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

If South Hagerstown could bottle up what it did in the fourth quarter against Brunswick on Friday night and use it for the remainder of the season, the Rebels would be an offensive machine.

After an excruciating second quarter and a rough start to the third put the Rebels fall behind by 11, South exploded for 31 points in the fourth period to record a 69-57 victory over Brunswick in an MVAL Antietam Conference contest.

One shot seemed to supercharge the Rebels (5-10, 5-3) at the end of the third period.

Down only 39-35 after two free throws by James Brunson, South pulled within one when pint-sized guard Stevie Burnett drained a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in the period.

"I had confidence in that shot and it gave me more confidence in the fourth quarter," said Burnett, who might stand 5-foot-5 with his sneakers on.

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Muhzammil Bhutto hit a jumper to give South a 40-39 lead early in the fourth and Burnett increased the pace with back-to-back 3-pointers and a coast-to-coast basket in transition after grabbing a rebound.

"I was getting open because we went to a 4-guard offense," said Burnett. "I stared at the rim and made sure I had a followthrough on the shot. That helps my shot."

Bhutto took over by adding a pair of 2-point buckets and a 3-pointer, while Chris Jackson added five points in the explosive quarter for the Rebels.

The Rebels hit 10 of 15 from the floor in the outbreak after shooting only 40 percent in the first three quarters.

"We were a little lackadaisical early and (Brunswick) dictated the game," said South coach Dennis Seman. "We had a problem with their zone, so I went to four guards with Brunson in the middle."

Alvin Roberson scored six early points to help South out to a 19-8 lead after one period before the Railroaders (8-7, 5-3) came charging back in the second, hitting 8 of 11 shots to grab a 28-25 lead at the break.

Burnett and Bhutto each scored 17 points and Roberson chipped in with 13 points and a team-leading eight rebounds as the Rebels bounced back from their 43-point whipping by Hedgesville on Tuesday.

"The Hedgesville game was awful and I gave the players Wednesday off," said Seman. "We worked on some defense Thursday and I'm happy that we came back."

Kendall Naylor led Brunswick with 18 points and seven rebounds and Seth Haines added 12 points.

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