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Boys Basketball: Hubs stun Eagles at the buzzer

February 19, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — It was just Kenny being Kenny.

And it was Andrew being Andrew.

It was two players bringing the talents they possess from their other sports to win one very big basketball game for North Hagerstown.

Andrew Yacyk connected with a 40-foot lob inbounds pass to Kenny McCrary with 0.9 seconds remaining for a layup on Tuesday to give the North Hagerstown’s boys a dramatic 53-52 victory over Hedgesville in the regular season finale for both teams.

“To Kenny’s credit, he’s a wide receiver and he was able to gather himself to make the catch like he did in football,” said exhausted North coach Kevin Hartman. “And to Yacyk’s credit, with all the big baseball games he’s been in, he knows what to do and that’s why he is over there taking out the ball.”

It capped a struggle in one of the tightest games of the season between two of the area’s better teams.

Hedgesville (15-5) trailed for most of the latter part of the fourth quarter, but took a 52-51 lead on a Juwan Powell 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining.

Each team called time with 7.2 seconds left to design final, full-court plays. The Hubs got the ball down to the frontcourt before it was knocked out of bounds with 0.9 remaining.

After two more timeouts, North lined up for one more try.

“When Coach called the play, I was skeptical,” said Yacyk, who scored 16 critical points in probably his best game of the season. “I asked him four times if he was wanted it to go to Kenny.”

Yacyk, pinned against the North bench with 6-foot-7 Chris Shields contesting the pass, waited for the play to develop. McCrary got a pick from Max Ober and broke to the baseline on the far side of the basket to get the pass.

“I was throwing it over the length of their 6-7 guy and lofted it to the basket,” Yacyk said. “I was praying that my buddy who can jump out of the gym could go up and get it.”

On the pass, McCrary gathered himself and took it up over a Hedgesville defender, banking it through the hoop as time expired for the final crucial two of his 11 fourth-quarter points to spark a wild celebration for the Hubs (17-5).

“I was skeptical about that play at first, too,” McCrary said. “I keep hearing it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. We have been working so hard and I had to step up. I love that baseball player.

“I’m just flustered for words because I’m so excited. This is my first year of playing and I’m proud to be a Hubs player.”

It was a textbook play.

“We honestly work on the out-of-bounds play in every single practice,” Hartman said. “With that 6-7 guy guarding him, Yacyk had such a small window to throw that pass.”

It was a shocking loss for the Eagles, who led for the majority of the game. Hedgesville led 12-8 after one quarter and 25-20 at the half by answering every North rally.

The Eagles used an 11-4 run midway through the third quarter  — keyed by 3s by Kimani King and Rahsaan Shanton — to take a 39-32 lead with 2:04 left in the quarter. The Hubs scored the final six points to close within 39-38 by the end of the period.

North jumped out to a 44-41 lead, using four points by Yacyk to move ahead, before Hedgesville pulled into two ties. McCrary rebounded a Yacyk missed foul shot — as the aggressive Eagles flew past the ball — for the go-ahead layup to put the Hubs up 51-49 to set up the final sequence.

Yacyk dealt three assists to McCrary, who also came alive on the defensive end with four blocked shots.

“Kenny showed up,” Hartman said. “He picks his spots. He’s grown — we’ve grown as a team — all year.”

Yacyk led North with 16 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, while McCrary had 13 points. Powell led Hedgesville with 21 points.

“When we got down, the team showed gumption to get back in it and have a chance to win,” said Hedgesville coach Kelly Church. “The play reminded me of that Christian Laettner play ... and it sucks to be on the losing side of it.

“It was a great high school basketball game and it was a great play. I always tell my team that you have to take ownership. I didn’t do everything I could do for my team to win. In the last .9 seconds, Coach Hartman beat Coach Church.”

North Hagerstown 53, Hedgesville 52
HEDGESVILLE (15-5)
King 3, Shields 7, Shanton 7, Burks 9, Powell 21, Snyder 5. Totals 20 7-8 52.
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (17-5)
Ober 8, Gantt 5, Keyes 7, Schoeck 2, McCrary 13, Yacyk 16, Peralta 2. Totals 22 8-12 53.
Hedgesville    12    13    14    12    —    52
North    8    12    18    15    —    53
3-point goals — Hedgesville 5 (Powell 3, Shanton, King), North Hagerstown 1 (Gantt).

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