Consistent Chesapeake tops South River Cougars' two good halves better than Hawks' one


December 18, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

If South River had to play only the second halves of its games, the Seahawks probably would be 5-0, instead of 3-2.

It seems the Seahawks aren't loose and ready until after the break, and such was the case last night in Lake Shore as they went down at the hands of No. 16-ranked Chesapeake, 66-52.

A 33-11 halftime deficit proved too much for the Hawks, although they did get within seven points with just under four minutes to go.

"We've come out like that every game this year, and I don't know what it is," said South River coach Ken Dunn. Just Monday, his team recovered from a 26-15 halftime deficit Monday to upset No. 17 Broadneck, 52-42.

"We try to jack them up and get them mentally ready, but we don't seem to start playing until the second half. But I have to give Chesapeake credit. They came out fired up and took it to us."

Chesapeake has been playing two good halves, and that's why the Cougars, whose starters are all seniors, are 4-0.

The Cougars are still looking for their first winning season in boys basketball since the school opened in 1976 and started 4-0 only one other time, that in 1991-92 before finishing 9-13 under then-coach Tom Kraning.

The Cougars scored 33 points in each half last night, consistency that brought them victory.

Ray Wagner's game-high 22 points led four Cougars in double digits. Dirk Schanberger tossed in 13 followed by 10 points each from Ryan Plews and Jason Gogolinski.

Russ Nicholson led South River with 16 points and 12 rebounds -- six at each end.

Wagner, who led the Cougars with 12 rebounds, and Schanberger combined for 15 points in the final period as the Cougars iced it following a 19-6 Seahawks run in the third period.

"We started off real well in the first half, but we knew they were going to play a lot better in the second half," said Cougars coach John Spinnenweber.

The second period proved decisive as the Seahawks hit just one of 14 shots from the floor.

"If we just hit half of those shots, we're in the game at the end," said Dunn, who used a full-court press to start the second half, forcing eight Cougars turnovers in his squad's best period.

Shooting 8-for-19 (42 percent) from the floor while the Cougars hit just three of 11 field goal attempts, South River cut the score to 49-42.

Moments later, Plews' put-back gave the Cougars a 54-44 lead, and then the free-throw parade -- the Cougars sank 12 of 18 in the final two minutes -- began.

Pub Date: 12/18/97

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