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Eagles knock off 'Dogs from close range

February 13, 2007|by JOHN O'BRIEN / Staff Correspondent

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Hedgesville's girls basketball team never claimed it wanted to make a living shooting 3-pointers, but it was more than happy to watch Martinsburg attempt it Monday night.

Brittany Boarman played through foul trouble and scored 22 points, and Ashton Butler added 12 as the Eagles claimed a 48-41 victory aided by the Bulldogs making only 3 of 20 3-point attempts.

By comparison, Hedgesville (15-4) attempted only one shot from beyond the arc, shot nearly 50 percent (20 of 41) from the floor and won its ninth straight game.

"We certainly haven't been making our living with the outside shot," Hedgesville coach Ben Merica said. "It's not that we can't, it's just that we haven't had to."

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The Bulldogs (9-11), meanwhile, seemed compelled to prove they could, firing up eight straight misses that allowed Hedgesville to grab a 15-8 first-quarter lead that was never again threatened.

"At halftime, I told them nothing was falling. When that happens, you have to make adjustments as a player - obviously to penetrate or take shorter jump shots," said Martinsburg coach Beth Sedlar, whose team actually shot well (46 percent) from inside the arc.

"You should especially know when you've missed two or three."

Martinsburg missed its first 10 before ShaRonda McDowell nailed one from the right side with 6 seconds left in the first half to make it 25-20.

The shot helped trim what was once an 11-point deficit to only five, but even with Sedlar telling her team to abandon the 3-pointers at halftime, it didn't help produce the desired results for Martinsburg.

In the second half, the Bulldogs shot 2 of 9 from 3-point range, and one of the two made 3s came with seconds left in the game.

It was especially frustrating for Sedlar to watch considering Boarman, who shot 11 of 16 and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, picked up her third foul in the second quarter. Sedlar said her team's reluctance to take the ball inside allowed Boarman to play the entire second half without worrying about fouling out.

"I tell them what we need to do, and they don't do it," Sedlar said. "It was a very frustrating game tonight."

Boarman nearly singlehandedly shouldered the offensive load in the fourth quarter after Martinsburg cut the lead to 35-29. She scored a pair of buckets inside to extend the lead to 10 and, following a pair of Iesha Robinson free throws, scored another pair to make it 43-31 with 4:10 remaining.

Boarman scored 14 of the Eagles' 23 second-half points despite picking up her fourth foul with five minutes remaining. She played the entire half.

"Our gameplan is to take advantage of what they give us when they give it to us," Merica said. "The whole key to the situation is what they do with the ball when they get the ball."

Boarman's basket in the first quarter gave the Eagles a 15-4 lead with 2:17 remaining, and Butler scored with 1:40 left in the half to push the lead back to 11 at 25-14. Dakeea Marshall responded with a three-point play and McDowell hit her lone 3-pointer in seven attempts to close it to 25-20 at halftime.

The lead fluctuated between five and nine the entire third quarter, and Boarman's spurt put the game away in the fourth.

The game meant nothing toward sectional standings. Martinsburg will still host Jefferson when the sectional playoffs start, and the winner will play at Hedgesville.

Marshall had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Robinson put in 12 points. Tiffany Farmer scored six, hitting 2 of 3 3-pointers. The rest of the team was just 1 of 17.

Butler took - and missed - Hedgesville's only 3-point attempt.

"We didn't play the type of ballgame I thought we would have," Sedlar said. "I told them to penetrate. If the shot's not falling, the next best thing is to drive and be able to shoot or kick out.

"We never were in sync enough to do that."

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