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Rebels stun Leopards with late rally

December 17, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

In the fourth quarter Wednesday night, the South Hagerstown boys basketball team matched the point total it took three periods to produce and the result was an improbable 52-48 victory over Smithsburg.

The Rebels outscored Smithsburg 26-11 in the final eight minutes after trailing 37-26 and by as much as 32-14 early in the third period before an infusion of offense turned in South's favor.

The inside-outside game between forwards Devonte Morel and Antoine Malone and guard Shane Santell that produced 22 of the fourth-quarter points and an end-to-end pressure defense were the ingredients for South (3-1).

"Coach (Kevin Naylor) challenged us at halftime to cut the mistakes or be subbed out," said Santell. "I thought we could still win at halftime. I think we caught them off guard with our defense."

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Santell scored 17 of his team-high 18 points in the second half and seven in the final period, while Malone hit 10 of his 12 points in the fourth. Morel had all nine of his points and five rebounds in the second half.

South took a 43-42 lead with 4:31 remaining when Malone blocked a shot by Josh Conway that led to transition and a conventional three-point play by Santell.

Smithsburg (0-3) tied it at 47 with 1:28 remaining on a free throw by Steve Kretzer, before Bryson Bryant tipped in a miss and Malone followed with a bucket off a steal on Kyle Orndorff.

"I'm down when we're behind by 18, but I couldn't let my teammates down," said Malone. "Shane and me got everyone motivated. We're two of the captains. Shane lit my fire with the 3s he got."

Santell's two 3-pointers late in the third period seemed to begin Smithsburg's downward spiral.

Conway had a pair of 3-pointers in the first half and Kretzer scored six points in the second to buoy the Leopards.

"We ran good offensive sets, but we didn't handle their pressure in the end," said Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber. "They fed off the turnovers. This game was reminiscent of their game against Williamsport. (South) was down early and got back into the game with their pressure. We just didn't get good shots."

What could be left behind was the foul shooting by each team.

The Rebels hit only 12 of 32 and Smithsburg was 13 of 30. Only once did South convert more than one free throw in succession.

"I almost wanted to keep the ball in the hands of whoever hit free throws," Naylor joked. "We played sloppy offense and Dee changed things inside that opened it up for us outside. And our defense is just learning to trap. It's a slow process."

Conway finished with 13 points to lead Smithsburg and Kretzer added 12.

S. Hagerstown 52, Smithsburg 48

SMITHSBURG (0-3)

Conway 13, Dinterman 3, Edwards 4, Orndorff 4, Reed 6, Gibson 1, Kretzer 12, Shives 3, Shroyer 2. Totals 16 13-30 48.

SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (3-1)

Malone 12, Santell 18, Stubbs 0, Jones 3, Bryant 5, Morel 9, Pierre 3, Almendarez 2. Totals 19 12-32 52.

Smithsburg 12 15 10 11 -- 48

S. Hagerstown 5 9 12 26 -- 52

3-point goals -- Smithsburg 3 (Conway 2, Kretzer); South 2 (Santell 2). JV -- Smithsburg 49-33 (S: Jack Schwartz 12, SH: Davico Provitt 11).

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