Jenkins, Key cut down overmatched Middletown

Forward's 24 points lead four in double figures, as Eagles cruise, 79-63

Boys basketball

January 13, 2000|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

At times, the Francis Scott Key Eagles better resemble a product from Ronco than a basketball team.

With a roster full of ball-handlers, coach Jeff Cook's team is often able to slice and dice through the toughest of defenses.

Last night, the quick-footed Eagles cut through visiting Middletown, building a 23-point lead before settling for a 79-63 win in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game.

Six-foot-three forward Kody Jenkins scored 24 to lead four players in double figures for the Eagles, who, with their fifth win, have won two more than all of last season.

"We have five guys who can play pressure defense and get in their face, and all of them can handle the ball and dribble to the basket," said Cook.

"When they put their big guys out on Kody, he could go past them. It's hard to match up against us."

Seven three-pointers, including four in the second quarter, didn't hurt either.

Jenkins, however, said it was mostly a matter of turning hard-nosed defense into offensive opportunities.

"We played good defense, and that helped us convert on offense," Jenkins said. "Coach stressed that, especially since Middletown is such a physical team."

Though the Knights' D. J. Costello scored a game-high 36 points, the Frederick County team made just nine of 31 shots in the first half with 11 turnovers, as Key built a commanding lead.

Tied at 10 late in the first quarter, Key (5-7, 4-4) turned up its intensity on defense, began forcing turnovers and scored 14 straight points, giving the Eagles a 24-10 lead with 6: 53 left in the half.

Middletown (5-5, 3-4) was erratic during the stretch, frequently throwing the ball away and forcing poor shots.

The Knights eventually settled down and cut the lead to eight, but the Eagles responded with another flurry of their own, getting a pair of three-pointers by Jenkins and another by Brendan MacDaniel in the final 1: 40 to take a 43-20 lead into halftime.

Aided by the scoring of Tommy Fletcher (15), Sean Todd (12) and Justin MacDaniel (11), the Eagles cruised the rest of the way, never leading by less than 12.

"They're a feisty group of kids," said Middletown coach Tim Leber. "They've got a bunch of guys who can put it on the floor and shoot it, and they made our defense look like they weren't playing anybody.

"It's a good thing they had a poor shooting night. Otherwise, they would've put up 100 points on us."

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