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Hampshire no match for Jefferson in region final

March 07, 2007|by DAN KAUFFMAN

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - One electric quarter was more than enough to offset three lackluster ones and send Jefferson's boys basketball team to the West Virginia Class AAA state tournament.

Vance Hosby had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Cougars won the Region II title Tuesday with a 66-40 thumping of Hampshire at Martinsburg High School that could have been even more lopsided.

Jefferson (19-4) opened the game on a 13-2 run over the first 3:15, making six of its first seven shots while Hampshire (9-13) missed three of its first four shots, turned the ball over three times and took two timeouts to try to stop the Cougars' momentum.

It didn't work, as Jefferson stayed hot, making 12 of 14 shots in the opening quarter to build a 30-9 lead. Gerald Stottlemyer hit two 3-pointers and scored 10 of his 18 total points in the quarter, Hosby scored eight in the frame and Dewey McDonald added seven of his 16 points. McDonald also finished with seven rebounds.

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"We wanted to play good, tight defense, get the lead early and keep it the rest of the game," Hosby said. "It's inside and out. When I'm not scoring, we have Stottlemyer and McDonald slashing to the basket or making 3s."

"We didn't look past (Hampshire)," Cougars coach Bob Starkey said. "We learned our lesson, we had one bad practice this season, and we lost the next time out. We haven't overlooked anyone since."

While Ryland Newman and Justin Grantham each had a low-scoring night, they both fueled the offense with sharp passing and tough perimeter defense. Newman finished with eight assists and three steals and Grantham added six assists.

"(Ryland) is the captain and the floor general," Starkey said. "He does things that disturb me once in a while, he gets a little too flamboyant, but he does a lot of things right. He's a defensive trendsetter. It's hard for anyone else to slack off out there when he's working his butt off."

Jefferson's defensive effort remained steady through the game, never allowing Hampshire to make a serious run. The Cougars won the rebounding battle 34-26 and forced 17 turnovers.

The offense, however, was less than sharp after the first quarter. The Cougars scored no more than 14 points in any quarter after the first, and made just 8 of 30 shots in the middle two quarters before bouncing back just slightly to make 7 of 17 in the fourth. They finished the night 27-for-61 (44.3 percent).

Nonetheless, the hot Cougars, who have won 12 of their last 13 games, have their chance to make some noise in the state tournament.

"We're playing very well," Starkey said. "I can't see these guys being scared."

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