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Unbeaten Hawks hand Hubs second loss

February 12, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

IJAMSVILLE, Md. -- The North Hagerstown girls basketball team has been through enough this season that a late-season showdown against an unbeaten team was just like any other game.

But the matchup against Urbana on Thursday night was unlike most of the other intense, high-energy games that the No. 1 Hubs have played in the last month.

They lost.

North overcame a nine-point deficit with just over five minutes remaining, but it was Urbana's resilience that decided the game as the Hawks remained perfect with a 60-58 victory.

"We have been through some real wars lately -- the Middletowns, the Walkersvilles, the Fredericks -- so there wasn't necessarily any pressure on us," said North coach Barry Brown. "The kids wanted to win this game, though. They had an opportunity to beat a tough 3A school and knock off an undefeated. It just didn't end up that way."

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But the end certainly lived up to the hype of a 17-1 team taking on an 18-0 squad.

North (17-2) trailed 54-45 with 5:05 left before going on an 11-2 run over the next four minutes to tie the game at 56.

Urbana (19-0) got the lead back when Chardea Harris scored in transition for a 58-56 edge, and the Hawks regained possession after Kirksten Mitchell's 3-pointer was off the mark.

Not one to be discouraged, Mitchell came right back and stole the ball from Cara Mason on an inbounds pass and scored to even the score at 58.

It was the biggest play of the game -- until the ensuing possession.

Urbana beat the Hubs' press and got the ball to Harris in the lane, where she stopped and kissed the ball off the glass and into the net with eight seconds left to give the Hawks a 60-58 lead.

North opted not to use a timeout and quickly inbounded the ball -- the same strategy that has helped the Hubs win games in the final seconds in the past. But this time, the push was stopped at mid-court and time expired without a field goal attempt.

"When we have seven or eight seconds, we know we can blow it out in four. We've won games in that situation, we just didn't execute it tonight," Brown said. "With 5:05 left, down nine at Urbana and we came back. As a coach you have to be pleased with that because we could've folded up the tent. It showed mental toughness to come back."

The Hubs committed 12 turnovers in the third quarter. Their 32-24 halftime lead was cut to 33-32 just 1:48 into the second half, and four turnovers in a one-minute span led to eight straight Urbana points to give the Hawks a 45-41 lead -- their first since leading 15-14 at the end of the first quarter.

North came up just shy of knocking off the Hawks despite 29 turnovers.

"North Hagerstown is a tremendously athletic team. They're the closest thing we'll see on our schedule to a 3A team," said Urbana coach Chris Krivos. "They have great skill, kids that can get to the rim, they're big and they're extremely well-coached.

"If we play them 10 times, we probably split and I'd be happy with that."

Harris had the last two Urbana baskets in the final minute -- she picked up her fourth foul with 2:07 left in the third quarter -- and finished with six points. Ashleigh Fossett led the Hawks with 19 points, Kristen Juenger had 12 and Kaitlin Taylor added 11.

LaRae Allen had 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, Mitchell finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and four steals and Kishia Jackson added 11 points and six rebounds for the Hubs, who outscored Urbana 18-9 in the second quarter.

"If we want to make a run at this thing -- and we do -- then (Urbana) is a team that we want to play," Brown said.

Urbana 60, North Hagerstown 58
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (17-2)

Koterwas 4, Jackson 11, Gantt 6, Perini 2, Allen 18, Mitchell 11, Scott 6. Totals 22 13-21 58.
URBANA (19-0)
Kordell 8, Mason 3, Fossett 19, Krivos 1, Harris 6, Juenger 12, Taylor 11. Totals 23 7-13 60.
N. Hagerstown 14 18 11 15 -- 58
Urbana 15 9 23 13 -- 60

3-point goals -- North 1 (Scott); Urbana 7 (Mason, Fossett 5, Taylor). JV -- Urbana, 48-36 (NH: Corie Anderson 11; U: Peyton Carper 9).

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