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Patriots bask in summer basketball sun

July 12, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Washington boys basketball entourage used a quick-in, quick-out philosophy on Thursday night.

The Patriots arrived at St. Maria Goretti shortly before the scheduled tipoff and made quick work of Greencastle in a 79-45 decision to win the Mason Dixon Summer League title.

Keldon Bell, a transfer from Jefferson, led the Patriots with 23 points, displaying an array of shots from around the floor, along with a nifty rebound putback on a slam dunk.

Christian Coles added 16 points and Kendall Smith had 15 for Washington, which finished 15-9 last season.

“We played 13 games in the Goretti league and another 13 in West Virginia, so this has been a great way to sharpen up on tools,” said Washington coach Don Bullett, who wasn’t allowed to coach the team but was a close observer in the stands.

“Summer ball is important,” said Bullett. “You look for the effort.”

Washington jumped out of their cars and quickly raced to an 11-0 lead in the first four minutes.

Greencastle’s Eli Englehart had a pair of 3-pointers to help whittle the deficit to 13-9, but the Patriots used their defensive quickness to force turnovers and convert them for points to push back to a 22-9 lead.

Washington led 40-20 near the end of the first half, but Greencastle mounted a comeback to cut the deficit to 40-30 at the start the second half, the closest it would be for the remainder of the game.

Zack Faulkner led Greencastle with 13 points and Joel Zola added 11.

“These summer games help with the teaching curves,” said Greencastle coach Gary Martin. “You take advantage of these opportunities. We’re going to be very young, so it’s very important to see what you have.”

The Blue Devils will be coming off a 23-6 season.

St. Maria Goretti won the junior varsity championship with a 64-44 win over North Hagerstown.

Nik Steiner and Zach Phelan had 14 points each for Goretti and Elijah Stubbs had 14 for North Hagerstown.

Note: Retired Goretti coach Cokey Robertson continues to operate the summer league, which he estimated has been functioning for close to 25 years.

“I still have the energy to do this and I like to see the kids play,” said Robertson. “Players are made in the summer and teams are made in the fall.”

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