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Hubs' lead short-lived in region semifinals

March 03, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com

ELDERSBURG, Md. — The first two minutes of Thursday night’s Maryland Class 2A West girls basketball semifinal game couldn’t have gone better for North Hagerstown.

And the next eight minutes couldn’t have gone much worse.

Liberty took advantage of the Hubs’ turnovers and missed layups, scoring in transition and with well-run halfcourt sets during a 21-3 run that gave the Lions a 21-10 lead. The defending 2A West champs never allowed North to get closer than seven points after that as Liberty won 67-56 and eliminated the Hubs for the second straight year.

“Our offense went away,” North coach Cyndi Benjamin said. “We had a lot of mental errors and we hurt ourselves in the first half. ... We just didn’t have our ‘A’ game going today.”

Quielanna Gantt scored two baskets — one off the opening tip on a feed from Corie Anderson — and Iman Scott made a 3-pointer as North (15-7) had a 7-0 lead with just 1:40 gone in the game.

It didn’t last long. Maggie McCormick made two baskets and Beka Coughlin and Lexi Cross each added one as Liberty (18-4) took an 8-7 lead and forced a Hubs timeout with 2:57 left in the first quarter.

Autumn Fisher’s 3 gave North a 10-8 lead, but Kelly McCormick scored the last six points of the first quarter to give the Lions a 14-10 edge.

Liberty scored the first seven points of the second quarter on Kelly McCormick’s 3 and baskets by Coughlin and Maggie McCormick to finish the 21-3 run. The Lions went into halftime up 27-18 on 11-for-29 shooting while the Hubs were 8-for-32 with 15 turnovers in the half.

North played much better offensively in the second half, scoring 38 points on 15-for-27 shooting. But the Hubs couldn’t get enough stops as Liberty scored 40 points on 14-for-33 shooting. North didn’t help itself at the foul line, making just 5 of 13 in the second half while the Lions made 10 of 13.

“We were overplaying a little on defense and they were getting some easy baskets because of it,” Benjamin said. “We got ourselves in a hole we couldn’t get out of.”

The McCormick sisters carried the offensive load for Liberty, with Kelly scoring 18 points and Maggie 17. Coughlin added 15 for the Lions.

Gantt led North with 16 points and four assists, while Fisher had 13 points and Anderson added 11. Scott spent some of the game in foul trouble and finished with nine points. North owned a 43-34 advantage on the glass — Akatshi Osongo had 10 boards and Scott added seven.

Liberty 67, North Hagerstown 56
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (15-7)

Gantt 7 2-4 16, Scott 3 1-2 9, Fisher 6 0-0 13, Anderson 4 2-3 11, Osongo 1 0-2 2, Perini 1 0-0 2, McLeod 1 0-0 3, Forrest 0 0-2 0. Totals 23-59 5-13 56.
LIBERTY (18-4)
M. McCormick 7 2-3 17, Cross 1 0-0 2, Coughlin 6 3-4 15, K. McCormick 6 5-7 18, Marlatt 2 4-6 8, Karr 2 0-0 5, Vinson 1 0-0 2. Totals 25-62 14-20 67.
North    10    8    18    20    —    56
Liberty    14    13    20    20    —    67

3-point goals — North 5 (Scott 2, Fisher, Anderson, McLeod), Liberty 3 (M. McCormick, K. McCormick, Karr). Rebounds — North 43 (Osongo 10), Liberty 34. Assists — North 10 (Gantt 4). Steals — North 8 (Fisher 2, Scott 2, Gantt 2). Turnovers — North 24, Liberty 17. Technical foul — Anderson.

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