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Eagles remain perfect

January 19, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Hedgesville put another Eastern Panhandle rival on its list of victories on Friday night with a 56-45 triumph over No. 3 Martinsburg in front of 1,200 excited onlookers.

The No. 1-ranked Eagles (13-0) used a 72 percent shooting effort from the field in the second half to overcome a six-point halftime deficit to defeat the Bulldogs.

"One of the three keys to the game was how we handled the atmosphere and that's what I told the players before the game," said Hedgesville coach Kelly Church.

J.R. Mayles led the Eagles with 18 points and 13 rebounds and, along with Maurice Newby and Denver Effland, found most of his points in the paint. The trio accounted for 25 of Hedgesville's 36 second-half points and were 12-for-16 from the floor.

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"We saw alot of mismatches down underneath and the baskets came easy," said Mayles, a junior who tried to be a calming influence with some of his teammates.

"For some of the guys, this was the first time they've been in an atmosphere like this, so I just tried to keep them calm," he said.

The Eagles kept Martinsburg at bay with their second-half burst.

After Martinsburg's Devin Walker scored 11 points in the first half, Hedgesville allowed him only a 3-pointer in the second half and also kept Isaac Thornton relatively in check with 12 points.

"(Hedgesville) had a gameplan to go inside and they got a lot off the back screens," said Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers. "I thought we were the quicker of the two teams, but they took us off the dribble all night."

Hedgesville tied Martinsburg at 31 with 3:40 left in the third period on a rebound by Newby. After a missed shot by the Bulldogs, the Eagles took the lead for good at 33-31 on an 8-foot baseline shot by Duane Fleetwood.

Hedgesville's 39-36 lead entering the fourth quickly became 47-37 on another putback by Newby and a runner by Fleetwood.

Martinsburg got within six at 51-45 on a bucket by Thornton with 2:16 to go, but went scoreless the rest of the way.

"We're a patient offensive team, but with three inside players, we'll try to attack this year," said Church. "We been successful because we've not been afraid to attack, and we're finishing."

The Eagles' victory may put them atop the West Virginia Class AAA statewide poll next week, with No. 1 Capital having lost to George Washington.

"If it is us as No. 1, then that is tremendous for the kids and the community," said Church. "But it stops there because in reality, we've still got to be ready. That was just Round 1 with Martinsburg and we've still got more with Jefferson and Musselman. But I am pleased with tonight."

Rogers may shake up his lineup tonight against Tuscarora, which beat Martinsburg 67-61 on Dec. 21.

"We didn't shot well and really haven't played well the last three, four games," the veteran coach said. "The lineup is going to get a shakeup. We've got some kids just not doing what we need them to do."

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