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Rivas' shot says arrivederci to Knights

December 20, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

If Mike Rivas hasn't finished his Christmas shopping yet, he took care of gifts for his teammates on Friday night.

The 6-foot-1 senior knocked down a 14-foot jumper from the right elbow with 15 seconds remaining to give North Hagerstown the lead leading to a 47-45 victory over Middletown in an MVAL Piedmont battle.

"We cleared out the middle and I had an opening and it felt good when I let it go," Rivas said. "It was the first time ever I've made a winning shot like that."

Twice North (4-1, 2-0) let leads evaporate only to recover. The second instance ended in a nick of time after Middletown battled back from a 37-30 deficit to take a 43-41 lead on a baseline reverse shot by Will Lyons with 3:32 remaining.

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After exchanging of buckets, North's Allen Sandberg hit a free throw at the 1:39 mark to set the stage for Rivas.

Middletown (0-4, 0-1) helped the Hubs down the stretch, missing six free throws, including the front end of a bonus situation by Jordan Hall with 26 seconds left.

Sandberg rebounded and the Hubs pushed forward without a timeout, finding Rivas coming off a screen into open territory in the lane.

"I challenged Mike at the half to shoot more," said coach Kevin Hartman. "We've got confidence in him that he can make that shot. He was hitting the boards, we just wanted him to shoot more."

Middletown lost its chance to go ahead when 6-foot-5 Morgan Winn drove the lane but lost control of the ball, which Sandberg picked up. The Knights prohibited a breakaway with a flagrant foul and Sandberg hit one of his shots with 2.2 seconds left.

After a lethargic first half in which North relinquished a 17-7 lead three minutes into the second period, Rivas came out and hit three straight buckets to open the third quarter and Joe Mattei hit two goals to give the Hubs their 37-30 lead.

"Last year we lost these kind of games," said Hartman. "The seniors made plays tonight and kept us going. I thought Sandberg did a good defensive job on Winn."

The Hubs dominated the offensive boards despite a height disadvantage against Middletown's Winn and 6-7 Matt Collins. North held an overall 39-36 margin, including a 18-9 edge offensively.

"We know we can be tough and coach talked about getting to the offensive boards because they were taller," said Rivas, who matched Bell with 10 boards each.

North needed the fortitude to offset a pathetic night on the foul line where it made only 11 of 26 shots.

Bell ended with 11 points and Mattei added 10.

Winn and Collins each had double-doubles for the Knights. Collins had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Winn added 11 points and 10 boards.

Uncharacteristically, Middletown is winless through four games.

"We had a size advantage, but in the end, we let them drive the lane and gave them opportunities," said Collins.

North Hagerstown 47, Middletown 45
MIDDLETOWN (0-4, 0-1)

McCarrick 2, Hall 9, Winn 12, Collins 12, Lyons 2, Glushakow 8. Totals 20 3-10 45.
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (4-1, 2-0)
Dickson 7, Spencer 5, Rivas 8, Bell 11, Mattei 10, Sandberg 7. Totals 18 11-26 47.
Middletown 5 15 12 13 - 45
North 9 12 16 10 - 47

3-point goals - Middletown 2 (Hall, Winn). JV - Middletown 37-32 (M: Michael Pritts 17, NH: Cody Dillow 8).

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