Miners shut off Leopards' flow

December 06, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

SMITHSBURG - The first four minutes of Friday night's season opener showed what the Smithsburg set offense is supposed to be like.

But after that early span in the opening period against Mountain Ridge, the Leopards' half-court execution was only half as good.

Mountain Ridge threw a monkey wrench in the Leopards' offensive plans, forcing them out of a comfort zone that they never returned to as the Miners posted a 55-44 win in the season-opener for both teams.

"Obviously we had trouble on the offensive end," said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber. "We got away from some of the things we wanted to do - going inside in the half-court. The first couple (possessions), we got the ball to Alan Reed and good things happened. But they took that away from us and we couldn't get it back."


Reed scored seven points in the first four-plus minutes to help Smithsburg (0-1) to a 10-5 lead. Reed picked up his second foul with two minutes left in the period and went scoreless for the rest of the half.

With Reed out of the game, Mountain Ridge (1-0) took its first lead at 19-18 with 4:13 left in the first half. The Leopards never regained the lead.

"That shouldn't have taken away from it at all," Gerber said. "Even if (Reed) is out of the game, we still need to get the ball inside."

But it didn't happen.

The Leopards turned the ball over 20 times 13 on steals and they had no answer for Mountain Ridge guard David Hobel. The Miners senior torched Smithsburg for 29 points while forcing six steals to push the transition game.

"He's a very good player. He's sneaky and can always get a shot off," Gerber said. "He has a way of penetrating to draw contact and get to the foul line and he's a very good free-throw shooter."

When they get into the fourth quarter and go to their four corners offense, it's very difficult to come back against them."

It seemed impossible.

The Leopards fell behind by double digits late in the third quarter and never got closer than six points for the rest of the game. Hobel drained 16 of 17 foul shots in the second half, including all 11 in the fourth quarter.

Reed led the Leopards with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Josh Conway added 10 points before fouling out. Cody Shives scored seven off the bench.

"The first three or four minutes were fine. We got some good looks and we had some good execution and I think it kind of woke (Mountain Ridge) up a little bit," Gerber said. "It just wasn't there for the entire game."

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