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Finally a celebration

South High Rebels get a victory after 55 losses in a row

South High Rebels get a victory after 55 losses in a row

January 07, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

The music playlist following the South Hagerstown girls basketball game Wednesday night included only one song.

"Celebration" turned out to be the perfect melody for the Rebels.

South snapped a 55-game losing streak by defeating Brunswick, 43-33, for its first win since a 41-39 decision against Clear Spring on Jan. 31, 2006.

After the buzzer sounded, the gymnasium erupted, music blared over the speakers, and players, fans, parents and even coaches danced onto the court to the Kool & the Gang tune, now the anthem for the first Rebels win in what seems like ages.

"Now the girls know they can do it, they know they can win. Every player stepped up and contributed," said first-year South coach Amy Schmuck, who endured only the final seven losses of the streak. "It's just amazing. Tonight was the win that's going to boost their confidence, just a step toward something awesome."

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Luna Jefferson had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Emma Stahl added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebels.

Transfers Alex Silva and Jefferson also experienced just seven losses before tasting their first win at South, but the credit goes as much to them as to more-tenured players like Stahl.

Jefferson picked up her fourth foul with 6 minutes, 47 seconds left and South leading 32-27, yet the 5-foot-8 junior made three more baskets to help the Rebels pull away. Silva finished with nine points, nine assists and four steals.

"I feel excited because it's my first year at a new school and I did it for what was my rival school from last year," said Jefferson, who transferred along with Silva from North Hagerstown. "I'm glad to get it for the other girls after all the games they lost in the previous years. We're all very happy."

South finally cracked the win column after coming up short by four points in its previous game against Fort Hill. The Rebels made sure they avoided disappointment Wednesday by contesting virtually every shot to hold Brunswick -- which hasn't won in eight games this season -- to just 12 field goals on 59 attempts (20.3 percent).

"It's not always about which team is the better team," Schmuck said. "It's about who plays with more heart on a given night."

Stahl dominated the first half with 11 points and six rebounds to help South take a 13-point point lead at the intermission.

It was when the lead was cut to five early in the fourth quarter that the Rebels showed their heart. They scored 11 of next 13 points to create the biggest lead of the game with 37 seconds left.

"At that point, we just needed to slow the game down. We were getting a little sloppy and we just had to control the pace of the game," Schmuck said. "This was the first game we've had more than a two-point lead for more than a few seconds. Having the lead for the entire game was something new for us."

South 43, Brunswick 33
BRUNSWICK (0-8)

Rogers 7, Pearl 9, McCarthy 3, K. Weddle 1, McCallum 5, Wilton 2, Zigler 6. Totals 12 8-14 33.
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (1-7)
Jefferson 14, Silva 9, Freeman 2, Showe 4, Thornton 1, Stahl 13. Totals 18 6-14 44.
Brunswick 9 4 11 9 -- 33
South 12 14 6 11 -- 43

3-point goals - Brunswick 1 (Pearl); South 1 (Silva). JV - Brunswick, 53-9 (B: Brittany Poling 10; SH: Lindsey Beall 4).

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