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Hubs learn to exhale as South gasps

January 16, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

In the end, all North Hagerstown boys basketball coach Kevin Hartman could do was stand, stare and hope.

With the Hubs clinging to a 55-52 lead at home against rival South Hagerstown, the Rebels had two chances to tie the game in the closing seconds.

"Don't hold your breath, you might pass out," Hartman said. "Time was going slow and they got their looks. We're fortunate neither dropped."

Anthony Lee's foul shot with 3.7 seconds left gave North a four-point lead to make Chris Jackson's 40-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer a moot point as the Hubs gave Hartman his first win, 56-55, in his first city rivalry game as a head coach in front of a packed house on Tuesday night.

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South's Shane Santell missed a heavily contested 3-point attempt from the right corner with 30 seconds left. But the Rebels stole the ball and called a timeout at the 19.9-second mark to set up a play that got Steve Burnett open in the left corner. Burnett's shot bounced off the rim and off Santell's foot before going out of bounds with six seconds remaining.

The victory was the second of the season for North (2-8, 1-3), and its first in the MVAL Piedmont, breaking a fourth-place tie with South (4-9, 0-4).

"I'm hoping they see they can play," Hartman said. "We talk about starting 0-0 each game, and I know it's a clich, but ... the past is the past, they forgot about it and came out ready to play."

Well, not quite. The Rebels raced to a 16-4 lead after one quarter, capitalizing on 10 Hubs turnovers and a 17-8 edge on the glass. But North started the second half with a 10-0 run, cut the lead to four at 30-26 at halftime and took the lead when Bryan Calendine made a spinning catch in the lane and made the layup to cap a 6-0 run to start the third quarter.

"If you don't play hard the full game, you get the result we did," said Rebels coach Kevin Naylor, who also was coaching in his first city rivalry game. "North played like they wanted that game, and we didn't. ... We're up 12 points, and now the kids do what they want to do instead of staying in the structure of the offense. We gave them momentum, and they didn't give it back."

Joe Mattei - who was called up to North's varsity for the Two-Town Showdown right after Christmas - had 16 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three blocks for the Hubs. Brent Bell had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Lee added seven assists.

Alvin Roberson had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for South. Santell added 11 points.

n Kirksten Mitchell had 17 points, six steals and four assists as the No. 3 North Hagerstown girls team defeated South, 72-12.

LaRae Allen had 11 points, five steals and two blocks, Luna Jefferson had 10 points and Alyssa Collier added five assists for the Hubs (8-2, 2-1). All 12 North players scored at least two points.

"We had a lot of turnovers (19) in the first half because we were trying to be aggressive, and I think that's a result of the two-week layoff," North coach Barry Brown said. "The second half, they settled down and did a nice job elevating their intensity defensively and executing better offensively."

The Rebels fell to 0-10, 0-4.

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