No. 4 Hedgesville tops No. 1 Jefferson

January 10, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. -- Hedgesville coach Kelly Church had no idea who was his leading scorer was on Friday night against Jefferson.

Even more amazing -- and with a straight face -- junior guard Scott Jones had no idea either.

Bring Jones to the poker table and nary an opponent will be able to read him. After all, it was Jones' team-high 16 points that helped guide No. 4 past No. 1 Jefferson 43-36 in the opening round of what will prove to be the Big East of the Eastern Panhandle this season.

"I'm not worried at all about who was the leader in scoring because we play as a team," said Jones, whose season high helped offset an off night by J.R. Mayles, who scored only four points despite a 20.3 average.

"We just don't get caught up in leading scorers," said Church. "I didn't know he was the leader."


It also didn't hurt Hedgesville that Jefferson (5-1), averaging 73 points per game, missed its last 18 shots of the game after pulling to within 36-35 on a goal by freshman Garrett Grantham at the start of the fourth quarter.

"We really haven't shot very well from 3-point but we kept on taking the shots," said Jefferson coach Bob Starkey. "And it didn't help that we didn't get to the foul line."

The Cougars were only 3 of 16 beyond the arc and were 3 of 4 at the stripe compared to Hedgesville's 11 of 19.

Jefferson opened in a 2-3 zone but mixed things up throughout the first half. The Eagles' floor balance in the front court with inside-outside passing helped them surge from an early 6-6 tie to a 20-10 lead with 3:33 left in the first half with five points from Jones, one on a 3-pointer.

Switching to a man defense in the third period, Jefferson tried to force more up tempo and got back into the game on 3-pointers by Casey Johnson and Dewey McDonald.

"We made the change to try to go up tempo after (Marquise Jones) hit that 3 to end the first half," said Starkey.

Jefferson closed to within one point twice in the third quarter before doing it again to start the final quarter. Then went dead cold.

At one point around a Hedgesville turnover and two missed shots, Jefferson missed eight shots, five coming in one set of possessions.

With 2:35 remaining, it was still a one possession game following two free throws by Mayles, but again, the Cougars found a lid on the hoop.

"Except for two of our possessions at the end of the first half, I can't be any more pleased," said Church. "We wanted to get spacing, be patient and spread the floor for balance. We took the shots we wanted. (Jefferson) was a team that beat three unbeaten teams, two on the road."

Backing Jones for the Eagles was Maurice Newby with 11 points and Jordan Reed with 10. McDonald was Jefferson's leading scorer with 12, while Grantham was held to four despite an 18.8 average in his first varsity Panhandle experience.

Note: Hedgesville's scheduled game today against Huntingtown, Md. has been postponed and rescheduled for Jan. 31 at 2:30 p.m.

Hedgesville 43, Jefferson 36
JEFFERSON (5-1, 0-1)

Johnson 5, McDonald 12, Zbikowski 6, Bryan 4, Grantham 4, M. Jones 3, DeLawder 2. Totals 15 3-4 36.
HEDGESVILLE (6-2, 1-0)
Reed 10, Jones 16, Mayles 4, Fleetwood 0, Newby 11, Woods 2. Totals 14 11-19 43.
Jefferson 8 9 16 3 -- 36
Hedgesville 14 9 13 7 -- 43

3-point goals -- Jefferson 3 (Jones, Johnson, McDonald); Hedgesville 4 (Jones 2, Reed 2). JV -- Hedgesville, 40-34.

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