HAGERSTOWN — South Hagerstown boys basketball coach Kevin Naylor credits every one of the Rebels’ victories this season to their defense.
And while that certainly played into the outcome of Friday’s test against Williamsport, it was the Wildcats who did a good job of helping out.
Williamsport started with turnover problems from the opening tipoff and, when it was all over, South had notched its 14th straight victory, winning 59-47 over Williamsport to remain unbeaten through 10 games in the MVAL Antietam Conference.
“Our defense is a broken record,” said Naylor. “We get a lot of forced turnovers and points off our defense.”
After taking the opening tip, Williamsport had turnover No. 1, and South’s C.J. Davis converted it into a conventional three-point play.
The Wildcats (6-9, 4-6) had eight turnovers in the first quarter, but South (14-2, 10-0) led only 11-5 at the end of the period.
Williamsport had six more mistakes in the second, and South got back-to-back baskets by Devonte Morel and Devon King for a 23-15 lead, which was whittled by Williamsport to 25-20 at halftime.
“We settled down a little in the second quarter and talked at halftime how we needed to take better care of the ball,” said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. “We had poor passing and execution, some because of their defense, others self-inflicted.”
But the Wildcats’ miseries continued as they opened the third quarter with four turnovers that helped South shoot out to a 34-22 lead with 5:35 remaining in the period.
Mowbray called timeouts twice in the first three minutes, imploring his troops to handle the rock better.
Tyler Wise scored four points and Alex Aleshire had a deuce to narrow the gap to 36-31 with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter, before the Rebels closed with six straight for a 42-31 lead heading to the fourth.
King scored six points and Michael added five in the final quarter to help keep Williamsport at arm’s length, despite nine points from the Wildcats’ Ryan Butts.
Despite the win, Naylor is looking for improvement heading into Tuesday’s game at Smithsburg.
“We did not play well in all aspects of the game,” he said. “Maybe it’s tougher the second time around.”
Morel led the Rebels with 19 points and had a team-high nine rebounds. King added 14 points and Davis chipped in with 10.
Wise led Williamsport with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Butts finished with 11 points.
JV: Williamsport 41-29 (W: Hunter Hamsher 11; SH: Tim Kitchen 11).
South Hagerstown 59, Williamsport 47
WILLIAMSPORT (6-9, 4-6)
Jackson 3, Butts 11, Christy 7, Aleshire 9, Wise 3, T. Myers 4. Totals 18 8-14 47.
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (14-2, 10-0)
Davis 10, Herring 2, Morel 19, King 14, Hill 7, White 6, Redmon 1. Totals 24 11-18 59.
Williamsport 5 15 11 16 — 47
South 11 14 17 17 — 59
3-point goals—Williamsport 3 (Aleshire, Jackson, Butts). Rebounds—Williamsport 33 (Wise 8), South 30 (Morel 9). Turnovers—Williamsport 24, South 8.