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Saints boys live up to their nickname

February 16, 2007|by DAN KAUFFMAN

The 2006-07 St. James boys basketball team will not be remembered as the Saints' most talented or most successful. But its actions over the past few days may qualify it as the most caring.

After the Saints lost to Heritage Academy 46-44 in overtime in the ultra-competitive Buffalo Wild Wings Tournament championship game Saturday, St. James' players turned their thoughts to Eagles freshman Andrew Harrell, whose arm was broken in horrific fashion during the contest.

"Right after it happened, I made a plan to get a card and get the guys to sign it," Saints coach Mike Brooks said. "Literally, from Saturday night through Sunday morning, almost every single member of the team came to me and asked if we could do anything, and each one had a different idea. We had a heartbreaking loss in the championship game, and all our guys could think about was this kid, which makes me feel like we're teaching the right lessons and made me feel great."

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Harrell had surgery on the arm, which needed two plates and 13 screws. On Monday, Brooks and most of the Saints visited Harrell at his home.

"We drove down to his house to hand-deliver the card and wish him and his mom well. He's going to go through a tough rehab process, and our prayers and support are with him," Brooks said. "We're 9-12, but this is the best team I've had just because of the type of kids they are. We take pride in each other and being good men and serving our community. They showed on Monday they're not just going through motions, they believe it in their hearts and I'm proud to be part of this program. And you look at Heritage and (coach) Mike Kidd, he believes in the same messages. I know deep in my heart if it was one of our kids who had been hurt, Heritage would have done the same thing we did."

"We'd had a very competitive game Saturday that went to overtime and both teams played very hard," Kidd said. "From that, it'd be easy just to focus on the result, and yet St. James was very gracious after the game, asking about Andrew and finding out where he lives so they could go visit. We just really appreciate that. I told our team what good sportsmanship they showed. Coach Brooks has been wonderful. We've had several phone conversations and it's great to see their interest in how Andrew is doing."

Rohrer's recovery

When Boonsboro boys senior Brad Rohrer hit the floor hard and stayed down for about 20 minutes before being taken out of North Hagerstown's gym on a stretcher on Feb. 6, coaches, teammates and fans were left hoping for the best.

Thankfully, their hopes were answered.

"I guess it was a stinger," Warriors coach Sam Connelly said. "I think it was just a real scary moment, two kids interlocking arms like that, and there was no place to go."

Rohrer lost feeling in his legs for a few minutes following the fall, but Connelly said Rohrer started to regain feeling in the moments before paramedics took him out of the gym and to the hospital. Connelly said Rohrer left the hospital later that night.

Just three days after the scary fall, Rohrer played a few minutes against Brunswick. On Monday, he saw even more action at South Hagerstown.

"(Last) Thursday, he was real sore and did not practice," Connelly said. "He came in Friday and dressed and we said we'll see how he looks during warmups. We let him play a few minutes against Brunswick, and Monday he played substantial minutes, I think 15.

"When Brad's on the floor, our intensity level picks up. He lifts our team. He's always on the boards and after it on defense. It was great to have him back."

Efficiency counts

A player's scoring average, taken by itself, tells a little bit about the impact he/she has to a team. But it's not a great way to measure how efficient a scorer a player is.

A better way is to look at a player's points per shot taken, which rewards good shooters as well as those who take good shots - usually from in close.

Taking a look at all players, averaging 10 or more points per game, whose coaches submitted full shooting numbers (shots made and attempted), reveals some telling things:

It's still a big man's game. The four most efficient boys are four of the biggest - Williamsport's Will Taylor, Jefferson's Vance Hosby, James Buchanan's Shane Rife and Waynesboro's Kevin Kline. All make the low post their predominant home, where they muscle their way for numerous layups and offensive rebounds and putbacks.

By nature, guards are at a disadvantage because many of their shots come from outside of 15 feet. Good 3-point shooters can overcome this, thanks to the obvious fact that they get more points for making them. Rockets guard Brandon Bryan has made 34 of 76 3-pointers (44.8 percent).

Here's a look at the most efficient of the area's double-digit scorers (free-throw shooting not included):

Boys

Will Taylor, Williamsport - 269 points, 197 shots, 1.37 PPS

Vance Hosby, Jefferson - 276 points, 204 shots, 1.35 PPS

Shane Rife, J. Buchanan - 357 points, 279 shots, 1.28 PPS

Kevin Kline, Waynesboro - 277 points, 216 shots, 1.28 PPS

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