The Starting Five

Tag: South Hagerstown

North gets a split

by on Feb.17, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

It wasn’t a pretty sight whatsoever in the first half of Tuesday’s North-South boys basketball game.

South shot 26 percent and North shot 17 and the Rebels led 24-19 in a ho-hum first 16 minutes.

North very much looked like a tired team from its battle against Walkersville on Monday night.

The second half was a complete 180 for the Hubs, hitting their first five shots and bolting to a 30-26 lead, one they never looked back on in posting a 67-54 victory.

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Wildcats wanted it more

by on Feb.17, 2009, under Prep Sports, Prep Track & Field

Whether indoors or outdoors, the Maryland High School Track & Field state meets are high up on the list of sporting events I love.

Over the course of six hours, you get to see everything that makes sports great: The spirit of competition, the drive and desire to be the best, the drama and passion. There’s triumph to delight in and heartbreak to feel for. There’s athletes digging down and finding more than you — and sometimes even they — ever thought they had.

That last sentence sums up what Williamsport’s girls achieved Monday in winning the Class 1A indoor team title. The Wildcats are a talented bunch. So was Digital Harbor. But Williamsport just wanted it a little more, and the Wildcats showed that in the very first event, as colleague Andrew Mason said in his story.

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Hubs make big impression in rout

by on Feb.03, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

Tonight was an eye-opening night on the Washington County girls basketball scene — maybe as eye-opening a night as there has been in several years.

The big game was the MVAL Piedmont showdown between North Hagerstown and Middletown, with the Hubs (16-1, 5-1) looking to avenge their only loss of the season — a 59-52 setback at Middletown (13-3, 4-1) on Dec. 18.

Boy, did they ever avenge it.

From the opening tip, North senior LaRae Allen put her stamp on the game. She was everywhere, especially when there was a rebound to be had. She worked tirelessly to push the Hubs to the lead and keep it, and wound up with a monsterous 25 points and 18 rebounds.

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Giving the Rebels a hand

by on Jan.08, 2009, under Prep Basketball

No team, nor its players, should ever have to endure a 55-game losing streak.

Unfortunately, South Hagerstown’s girls basketball team did. And it’s not the first time a Washington County girls team had to experience such a streak of futility: Clear Spring went 84 straight games without a win from 2001 to 2005. I was at the Blazers’ game against St. Maria Goretti when that streak came to an end: It was a joyous time for everyone involved with the program.

The Rebels deserve to feel good about Wednesday’s win, but they deserve to feel even better about the direction the program is now heading under first-year coach Amy Schmuck, who had success at Class 4A Thomas Johnson, taking the Patriots to the state tournament in 2005.

South’s first two losses this season, to Williamsport and Boonsboro, left both Wildcats coach Chris Malott and Warriors coach Max Shaffer commenting about how vastly improved the Rebels were. Lopsided losses to Smithsburg, North Hagerstown and Frederick were nothing to feel bad about: Those three teams will hand out plenty of whoopings to lots of teams this season. And a 56-52 loss to Fort Hill at the Mountain Ridge Tournament last week was the clearest sign that at some point sooner rather than later, South was going to end the streak.

Believe me, it won’t be another 55 games before the Rebels celebrate their next victory. It probably won’t be five games. For the first time in a while, this is a program taking steps forward. All off South’s top players this season are underclassmen.

And don’t forget, it wasn’t that long ago that North was a struggling team. The Hubs never endured the kind of streak South or Clear Spring had, but they had a handful of five-win seasons before Barry Brown took over and turned that program into the beast of Washington County. There’s no reason to believe Schmuck can’t accomplish the same kind of turnaround, given time, at South.

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