Key's key to victory: Hit boards Eagles top S. Hagerstown, 72-43, to stay unbeaten

Boys

December 17, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Working against taller, experienced South Hagerstown, the defensive strategy for Francis Scott Key last night was simple: Help out on the boards and don't allow any second shots.

Not only did the strategy work, but South Hagerstown helped out with some poor ballhandling and shooting and the result was a runaway 72-43 victory for the Eagles in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League opener for both teams.

Going in, it was a matchup of 3-0 teams, but once Key settled, began protecting the ball, and hitting its shots, the difference became obvious.

The home team, up 27-17 at the half, almost doubled its total in the next eight minutes, as six players had 12 baskets to build a 52-33 cushion going to the last quarter.

Key promptly hit three shots in a row, and coach Jeff Cook had all but one of his starters on the bench with five minutes left. The fifth followed soon after.

Kevin DeCarlo, 6 feet 4 and 230 pounds, took charge inside as he and teammates Vince Stonesifer, Andy Jenkins, and reserve Steve Webb combined to out-muscle and out-rebound the visitors, who started 6-11 Matt Jenkins and 6-8 Antoine Becks. Between them, Jenkins and Beck scored just three baskets.

"We weren't intimidated by their height and our defense was tremendous," DeCarlo said. "Coach told us to take it to the big guys and try and get them in foul trouble. We did, and they each picked up two early."

The winners, scoring in the 70s for the third straight game, put four players in double figures on a night when they were able to get inside-outside balance.

DeCarlo scored 14, Webb 13 and Stonesifer 10, mostly from inside, and Josh Hollman came through with six baskets, mostly from outside, for 13.

South Hagerstown had two long droughts that effectively took it out of the game. It was tough early, leading for the last time at 9-8, but then went scoreless for four minutes before John Schnebly connected on a buzzer-beating three-pointer to make it 18-12.

The visitors repeated the swoon in the second quarter. After closing to within 20-16, they went scoreless for five minutes before Matt Jenkins hit a free throw in the final minute. It was 27-17 at the half.

Pub Date: 12/17/97

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