UNIONTOWN — Last night's game against North Hagerstown was supposed to be a gauge of just how far the Francis Scott Key boys basketball team had improved this year.
For the better part of three quarters, the answer seemed to be, "Quite a bit."
But basketball games last four quarters, and the Hubs from Washington County dominated Key in the last period for a 75-49 Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory over the host Eagles.
E. J. Fuller ledthe way for North Hagerstown with 24 points, and teammate Tony Ware,one of Washington County's top players, added 19.
Key got double-figure scoring from Scott Kreit (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Paul Coale (11 points, eight rebounds).
North Hagerstown bolted to a 12-6 lead late in the first quarter, but the Eagles battled back. Dave Layman canned a 20-footer and Scott Kreit tipped one in to close the gapto 14-11 at the end of the quarter.
Key pulled even at 16 when Kreit hit a three-pointer a little over a minute into the second quarter. The Eagles stayed close but couldn't pull ahead until Kreit hauledin an offensive rebound and dropped in a layup for a 24-23 lead.
The game stayed tight until the half, when the Hubs had a 32-29 lead.
"I didn't think we played real well in the first half, but they (Key) probably had something to do with that," said Hubs coach Tim McNamee.
"I though we played real well defensively in the second half."
McNamee said Key's transition game, in particular, caused headaches for his team in the first half.
But North Hagerstown scored nine straight in the first two min
utes of the second half to take a 41-29 lead.
Key pulled to within 43-36 on a 12-footer by Paul Coale with 3:10 to play in the third but could get no closer in the quarter.
"I knew if they got a run, it would be hard to catch them," said Key coach Jeff Cook, "because we don't have the talent to catch them."
The start of the fourth quarter was a rerun of the third asNorth Hagerstown ran off six in a row for a 56-40 lead.
From thenon it was show time for North Hagerstown. Another stretch of six in a row opened a 20-point margin at 64-44 with 3:30 to play, and the verdict was all but sealed.
Even though the game was close during the first half, Key didn't shoot especially well.
The Eagles missed numerous shots from inside the lane.
"We didn't shoot a very good percentage," Cook said, noting that several of his better players shot 25 percent or worse from the field.
"We had no offensive rebounds. We'd shoot, and then stand there and watch," Cook said.