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Strong second half helps North blow by South

February 18, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

North Hagerstown's boys basketball team would like to have used any portion of Tuesday's second half against South Hagerstown during its six-game losing streak.

After a dismal 17-percent shooting performance in the first half, the Hubs stormed to life with a 63-percent effort in the second half to thump the rival Rebels 67-54 and salvage a split of the season series.

"It was an ugly first half," said North coach Kevin Hartman, after his Hubs trailed 24-19 after hitting 6 of 35 from the floor.

"I think we were rushing our shots," said Brent Bell, who shared game-high scoring honors with fellow senior Joe Mattei.

North (10-11, 3-5) began the second half with a quick 11-2 run, hitting its first five shots, including a deuce and conventional three-point play by Mattei.

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North held a 32-31 lead as it went into the bonus situation with 3:05 left in the third quarter and Bell hit 6 of 6 and Mattei hit 3 of 3 as the Hubs closed out the quarter on a 12-3 run for a 44-34 advantage.

"The only points we got in the first half were in the paint," said Hartman. "We told them at the half to quick taking jumpers. We couldn't rely on the jumper and that's what we were doing. We had to go inside."

That message was not only heard by Bell and Mattei, but also by Tyler Spencer, who contributed eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter as North let South get no closer than 10 points.

After hitting 2 of 12 beyond the arc in the first half, North did not attempt a 3-pointer the rest of the way.

"We stepped up offensively in the second half and I thought we confused them a little with our defense in the second half," said Bell. "It was nice to get a win on your home floor in your final home game."

South (9-10, 2-6) suffered its third straight loss as the Rebels couldn't fine any tune to its offense.

"I couldn't believe we were leading at halftime," said South coach Kevin Naylor. "We went to the disco tonight and the music wasn't playing."

The Rebels shot 33 percent for the game, including 26 percent in the first half.

The biggest problem for South was the lack of inside scoring. Shane Santell led the Rebels with 16 and Nick Stubbs had 13, all but four from the perimeter.

"What's going on now is we've lost three starters and need someone to step up and be a leader," said Naylor.

Hartman was pleased with the effort on the backboards as Spencer pulled down 15 rebounds, while Bell 14 and Mattei 10.

Tyree Jones had 13 rebounds for South.

North concludes the regular season Friday at Thomas Johnson while the Rebels still have three remaining games on the road.

North Hagerstown 67, South Hagerstown 54
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (9-10, 3-5)

Santell 16, Jones 3, Pierre 2, Provitt 9, Shank 4, Stubbs 13, Chase 7. Totals 20 9-16 54.
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (10-11, 3-5)
Sandberg 9, Bell 17, Mattei 17, Nelson 6, Rivas 5, Spencer 12, Stoner 1. Totals 23 19-30 67.
South 11 13 10 20 -- 54
North 11 8 25 23 -- 67

3-point goals -- South 5 (Stubbs 2, Provitt, Santell 2), North 2 (Sandberg, Mattei). Fouled out -- SH: Bucher.

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