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'Roaders roll, push Warriors off 1A track

February 27, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

BRUNSWICK, Md. - The shots aligned at just the right time for the Brunswick boys basketball team on Monday night.

In a span of 3 1/2 minutes in the second quarter, Brunswick hit seven straight shot for only its second lead of the game before withstanding each of Boonsboro's second-half comeback attempts to post a 51-44 Maryland Class 1A West East Sectional semifinal victory.

The Railroaders (14-9) meet Williamsport on Wednesday.

"For some reason we were shooting better," Brunswick coach Dan McLane said of his team's 16-6 run. "We executed well and we got some better looks and the shots just started to fall."

Brunswick missed 10 shots in row, spanning the first and second quarters, before finally heating up. The Railroaders ended a six-minute drought on an offensive putback by Marcus Hall to pull to within 10-8 with 4:27 left in the period.

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But that was only the beginning.

Hall tied the game at 10-10 on a layup in transition and the Railroaders traded baskets with the Warriors before taking a 17-16 lead on a fast-break by Grant Wilson. Kendall Naylor hit Brunswick's fourth basket in transition of the period before Wilson's conventional three-point play put Brunswick ahead 22-16.

"We tried to put some pressure on their guards a few times and they got by us for some easy baskets" said Boonsboro coach Sam Connelly. "They do turn the ball over, and we wanted to try and take advantage of it."

But unlike the second meeting between the MVAL Antietam rivals when 6-foot-5 center Seth Gaines scored 26 points and carried Brunswick to a 71-64 win, the Railroaders' ballhandlers came up big Monday.

Gaines was saddled with two fouls in the first three minutes and scored only two points. But guards Andrew Simpson (16 points) and Justin Stone (12 points) stepped up to lead the Railroaders, while point-forward Kendall Naylor dished out six assists.

"(Gaines) was a big part of their offense in the first two games," Connelly said. "This time, we played behind him on the baseline and we had some help on him in the inside. We wanted to neutralize him and make their guards beat us."

Boonsboro (14-9) cut the deficit to one possession four times in the second half, but couldn't get over the hump. The Warriors made just 8 of 31 shots (26 percent) and went 2-for-11 from beyond the arc in the second half.

"We got to within three points a couple of times and I think we were really just trying to even it up," Connelly said. "And they beat us on the boards so we didn't get very many second opportunities."

Boonsboro cut the lead to 39-36 on a putback by Adam Flook with 3:46 left, but the Warriors missed six of their last seven shots and Brunswick hit nine free throws in the last two minutes to seal the win.

Flook finished with 19 points, Josh Miller had 12 and Mike DeBarge chipped in with nine for the Warriors.

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