TJ has its way with Hubs in regular-season finale at North

February 28, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

The North Hagerstown boys basketball team closed the regular season on a losing note Wednesday, dropping a 72-53 decision to Thomas Johnson.

The Patriots (9-13) grabbed a 17-11 first-quarter lead, increased the advantage to 32-17 at halftime and cruised to the decisive victory.

"They're a very physical team and they dominated us on the boards," North coach Kevin Hartman said. "On top of that, we missed a lot of shots in the first half and didn't get things going offensively until the fourth quarter."

North (6-16), which collected only 16 rebounds in the contest, returns to practice today and then visits Liberty on Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the opening round of the Maryland Class 2A West playoffs. The Hubs defeated Liberty 67-65 in overtime last Thursday.


North grabbed a 4-1 lead in the opening two minutes of Wednesday's game, but Thomas Johnson went in front 5-4 on Max Fisher's basket and led the rest of the contest.

The TJ lead ballooned to as many as 27 points (54-27) in the closing seconds of the third quarter on Roy Comer's basket.

"We've played a tough schedule this season and we have trouble with consistency, putting a full game together offensively," Hartman said. "We played a decent fourth quarter, but we couldn't hit much of anything before that. And we had some good looks."

Brent Bell had an outstanding effort for North with 19 points and seven rebounds while Joe Mattei contributed three blocked shots and 13 points.

Thomas Johnson had three players in double figures - Dwayne Jenkins with 16 points, Roy Comer with 11 points and Max Fisher with 10 points.

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