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North gets defensive to beat Winters Mill

February 28, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

The Winters Mill boys basketball team had reason to take offense to the North Hagerstown defense Friday night.

The Hubs weren't exactly cordial hosts.

North contested virtually every shot in holding the Falcons to just 10 field goals and the Hubs rumbled to a 46-25 win in first-round action of the Maryland Class 2A West playoffs.

The 25 points allowed is a playoff record for the Hubs, who forced Winters Mill into 20 turnovers -- 12 off steals. The Falcons, the reigning 2A state champions, went 10-for-36 (27.8 percent) from the floor, including just 2-for-18 (11 percent) from 3-point range.

As intense as the defense played, the Hubs committed only eight fouls in the game.

"I thought we handled their post guys pretty well tonight," said North coach Kevin Hartman. "We worked hard on knowing who the shooters were, knowing what they were going to do and how they we going to attack. I was pleased with the effort defensively."

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There were few complaints about the effort on the offensive end as the Hubs efficiently knocked down 18 of 34 shots (52.9 percent). Brent Bell scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the second half to lead the Hubs, who will travel to play second-seeded Walkersville in the region quarterfinals.

"The guys on the team are very unselfish. Rarely do you have to tell them to make the extra pass to get a better-looking shot," Hartman said.

North (11-12) trailed 8-4 with 1:39 left in the first quarter before scoring 14 straight points during a 20-5 run to end the first half. The Hubs drained 9 of 15 shots during the stretch while holding Winters Mill (6-17) to just two baskets.

The Hubs' lead was never threatened in the second half.

"It took us a while to get in the flow of things," Hartman said. "Seeing different uniforms for the first time after a week of practice and trying to get the cold out of our lungs a little bit. ... But we did have fresh legs.

The game was the first since North lost on a last-second shot against Thomas Johnson last Friday. The Hubs will have much less time to prepare for Walkersville, which hosts the quarterfinal game Monday looking to beat North for the third time this season.

"They're a great team that we have a lot of respect for," Hartman said. "We're going to have to bring our best effort to come away with a win."

North Hagerstown 46, Winters Mill 25
WINTERS MILL (6-17)

Blackwell 6, Horn 7, Jenkins 7, Martin 1, Gomes 4. Totals 10 3-4 25.
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (11-12)
Sandberg 5, Calendine 2, Spencer 3, Nelson 4, Rivas 6, Bell 16, Mattei 6, Ober 4. Totals 18 9-18 46.
Winters Mill 8 5 8 4 -- 25
N. Hagerstown 12 12 11 11 -- 46

3-point goals -- Winters Mill 2 (Horn, Jenkins); North 1 (Bell).

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