Hedgesville gets physical, improves to 15-0

January 31, 2008|By JOHN O'BRIEN

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. -- It is rare that an opponent of Jefferson's can shoot freely in the paint, so Denver Effland and the Hedgesville boys basketball team made sure to take advantage Wednesday night.

The state's top team stayed undefeated by coming out on top in a 44-37 slugfest aided greatly by the foul trouble of Jefferson's standout center, Vance Hosby. Hosby picked up three fouls in the first half, his fourth early in the third quarter and did not score during the last 30 minutes of the game.

"He's tough. He plays hard," said Effland, who roamed the baseline against Jefferson's 2-3 zone while Hosby was forced to play conservatively in the middle. "He picked up some fouls early. That makes the game easier for some of our guys."

And Effland was the main beneficiary, scoring nine of his game-high 14 points in the second half. He made 6 of 11 shots, including a 3-pointer that gave Hedgesville (15-0) a 23-18 lead just seconds before Hosby picked up his fourth foul.


Hosby was coming off what Jefferson coach Bob Starkey called "one of his best games," a 33-point, 15-rebound effort in a loss to Martinsburg on Friday. He scored just five points, all in the first two minutes, and grabbed nine rebounds Wednesday.

"Coach (Kelly Church) wanted us to go right at him, even when he got his third foul," Effland said. "He told us not to shy away. It's when you shy away that he'll block your shot."

But the Eagles didn't have to worry about that in the second half, even as Jefferson battled back from a nine-point deficit.

After Justin Fagan scored five straight points for the Cougars (8-5), Effland broke the run with a bucket inside to make it 29-23 with 1:40 left in the third. The Eagles maintained the six-point cushion into the fourth quarter, which began with Effland scoring again inside to push the lead to 34-26.

Dewey McDonald scored five straight for Jefferson, but J.R. Mayles found Effland inside for a basket, then nailed a short jumper in the lane that made it 38-31 with 3:41 left.

McDonald scored four straight, and Fagan hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 38-37. The momentum could have continued after Jefferson came up with a steal, but Hosby's outlet pass was not anticipated by Marquise Jones, who had turned upcourt.

The sequence led to a Mayles layup with 1:12 left that made it 40-37. Fagan passed on an open 3-pointer and missed a long 2-pointer before Mayles dunked on a side inbound play with 30 seconds left.

Mayles scored all eight of his points in the second half, and Duane Fleetwood added 10 for the Eagles.

"It's great, but we still have to come ready to play in the next two (sectional) games," Effland said.

Hedgesville became just the third team to defeat the Cougars. Millbrook (16-1), the No. 1 team in Virginia's Group AA, accomplished the feat once before the Cougars avenged the loss, while 12-3 Martinsburg has beaten the Cougars three times despite trailing by double-digits in all three games.

Fagan led Jefferson with 13 points, while McDonald rebounded from missing his first nine shots to finish with 11. As a team, the Cougars made only 8 of 18 free throws.

Hosby missed one free throw and one shot in his scoreless second half.

"We tried to get a couple fouls on him and get him out of the game," Effland said. "Then we could try take advantage on the post."

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