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Panthers unite to chase Saints

December 14, 2007|By JACK HILL

HANCOCK - Hancock's boys basketball team is placing an emphasis on togetherness this year.

The Panthers showed just how important togetherness is as they defeated St. James 66-62 on Thursday night.

"We played together," Hancock coach Ron Hose said. "When we play together, we can play with anybody on our schedule."

Hose gave credit to his players for getting the offense going.

"It's one of the luxuries of having eight seniors," Hose said. "All eight seniors know their roles and all of them contributed tonight. We have so many players who have been through all of this before."

St. James (5-2) led 47-46 lead after three quarters.

The Panthers (2-1) started the fourth with an 8-0 run to take the lead for good at 54-47 with 6:05 remaining. Forward Danny Mauk had the final two baskets in the run.

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Hancock led 63-57 with 33 seconds to go before Saints center T.K. Washington scored a basket, then followed it up with a three-point play to cut the lead to 63-62 with 12 seconds left.

However, Matt McCoy converted a three-point play for the Panthers with 7 seconds remaining to provide the final margin of victory.

Jacob Foreman, a 6-foot-3 senior center, finished with team-high totals of 19 points and seven blocks for Hancock.

"I just battled T.K. Washington as hard as I could," Foreman said. "I gave 100 percent. My teammates did a good job of finding me inside. This win will prove to the rest of Washington County that we can play basketball up here. This win is a good win for us in the beginning of the season. It has got our confidence up and it has got our motivation up."

Steven Beaver added 16 points, six rebounds and four assists for Hancock. Josh Unger had 13 points and Mauk had nine points.

After making just two of his first 10 shots, junior Mike Russ made 10 of his last 16 to finish with a game-high 25 points for St. James. Washington added 15 points and 14 rebounds, Ben Farquhar had 12 points and Spencer Draper had five assists for the Saints.

"I just think they out-executed us tonight," St. James coach Mike Brooks said. "They played a little bit more disciplined than us tonight. We didn't execute on offense and we weren't disciplined on defense. We weren't one cohesive unit on defense tonight."

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