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Applemen can't keep up with Jones

February 12, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. -- Entering Monday evening, Hedgesville guard Scott Jones had never scored in double figures.

So it was quite a surprise when the Eagles sophomore got there in a little more than five minutes against rival Musselman.

Jones scored 12 points in the first quarter -- en route to a game-high 20 -- to spark No. 1 Hedgesville to a 52-32 victory over the Applemen.

"I was feeling it in the first half," said Jones, who estimated his previous career-high at just seven points. "Coach (Kelly Church) told me to shoot with more confidence and I was more aggressive. If they got me the ball, I was going to make something out of it."

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Jones scored the first six points of the game and added a pair of 3-pointers later in the first quarter to give Hedgesville a 16-4 lead with 2:55 left. He scored off three assists from Duane Fleetwood and had 15 points by halftime.

"We talked at school earlier and I let him know that in the summer league and in the preseason, he seemed to play with a little more confidence and enthusiasm," Church said. "I wanted to see him get back to that."

Jones finished with four 3s to lead an efficient perimeter attack by Hedgesville (18-1), which finished 9-for-19 (47.4 percent) from long range. The Eagles hit just 6 of 22 shots from inside the arc.

"We spend a lot of time in practice on getting the ball inside, but we tell our guards that they have to be shooters first," Church said. "Part of that is the coaches believing in the players, but a lot of it is them believing in themselves."

Hedgesville hit six 3s in the first half and took the lead to 19-7 with 6:25 left in the second quarter. Musselman went on an 11-3 run to close the deficit to four points, before Eagles senior Taylor Hockman drained a 3 from the left wing.

Musselman (11-7) trailed 25-19 at halftime but 13 turnovers in the second half foiled any comeback plans. The Applemen finished with 23 turnovers.

"You have 23 turnovers and you're not going to beat the No. 1 team in the state," said Musselman coach Derek Basile. "(Hedgesville's) big kids shot pretty well, but even the kids that don't play that much were hitting shots."

Hedgesville extended the lead to 40-26 by the end of the third quarter and the margin remained at double digits the rest of the way. J.R. Mayles scored all 11 of his points in the second half to pace the Eagles, while Fleetwood finished with six assists.

Josh Walters led Musselman with 18 points before fouling out of the game with 3:03 left. Morgan McDonald hauled in eight rebounds for the Applemen, who have lost five straight.

"These five games have all been against good teams," Basile said. "We need to pick it back up and start playing the way we played early in the season."

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