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Knights turn tables on Rebels

February 11, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

It won't take South Hagerstown long to forget its final home game of the regular season - a game that could be indexed in the "burn game film" category.

The Rebels and Middletown did 180-degree turns from their Jan. 21 confrontation, which South won, 71-61.

On Tuesday, the Knights continued their efforts to make something of their season with a 55-41 MVAL Piedmont victory over South, now in dire need of regrouping down the stretch.

"It was an all-around bad game," said South coach Kevin Naylor. "We missed a ton of layups and had too many turnovers."

It didn't help the Rebels (9-8, 2-4) that leading scorer and rebounder Antoine Malone is no longer on the team and that Middletown (3-14, 2-5) came in with an improving outlook.

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"We thought we had to lock down on defense and box out and we did that tonight," said Middletown's Jordan Hall, an integral part of the win with 12 points and nine rebounds. "We've improved so much since we played (South) the last time and we hit free throws tonight."

The Knights salted away the game with an 11-for-15 performance at the line in the final period when South was trying to close the gap and finished 18 of 29, far superior to their 23 of 43 in the first meeting.

A 10-0 run, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Hall and Sam Glushatow, gave Middletown a 15-5 lead after the first period and the Knights still maintained a 29-23 lead by the halftime break.

South began to put a dent in the Knights' lead in the third period and appeared refocused and poised.

After a missed shot and two turnovers, Shane Santell, Tyree Jones and Jason Chase scored and suddenly the Rebels trailed only 33-32 with 2:06 left in the quarter.

However, the Rebels missed on their next three opportunities to take the lead, unable to convert easy attempts in the paint.

"That was the game there," said Naylor. "It was a mission trying to get the ball in the hole."

Despite its rash of turnovers, Middletown avoided disaster early in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 42-34. The Knights sealed the win with their final 11 points coming at the line.

"This was one of our worst games of the year," Naylor said. "We played bad defense in spurts and when we tried to push the ball we had noone out in front to create 2-on-1 chances. We've just got to go back to the drawing board."

Jones led South with nine points and Santell and Pierre each had eight for South and Pierre had seven rebounds.

The only other Middletown player in double figures was Chris Perrone with 10 points. Perrone also has six rebounds as the Knight controlled the boards 39-25.

Middletown 55, South Hagerstown 41
MIDDLETOWN (3-14, 2-5)

Hall 12, Winn 5, Lyons 6, Harris 8, Perrone 10, Ryan 7, Glushatow 7. Totals 17 18-30 55.
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (9-8, 2-4)
Chase 7, Santell 8, Shank 5, Pierre 8, Jones 9, Almendarez 2, Provitt 2. Totals 17 6-15 41.
Middletown 15 14 7 19 - 55
South 5 18 9 9 - 41

3-point goals - Middletown 3 (Perrone, Glushatow, Hall), South 1 (Santell). JV - South, 61-43 (M: Colin Van Werkhorn 8; SH: Ahmad Fields 19).

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