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March 10, 2005     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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SP!RIT OF JEFFERSON Farmerg ADVC)CATE - Thursday/, March lO, 2005 ' } } no mention that vs. HedgesxqAle P turned scorers. Cougars 20 nine pomts each, it two seniors Jefferson hold off second-half surge to the Sectional with a 63-59 win. four three- and a vital tip-in the Cougars in ifirst half, but helped above the rush- HedgesvJlle's points came three-point- game, which was from Jefferson's more of a Senior were the 21 points 5-foot- and the 14 Deaner -- both whol- its defense on perimeter to freshman cen- it was imper- score from % arc. Edwards mak- shots and three were able to over the Eagles. presence as a scor- Seemed denied when ;~ith his second per- With full)" 5:36 re- first quarter. on the floor for only one win Penned m the first outscored the offense, 13- four minutes of to reverse a lead that had by Manspile's six not scored in the He had not taken a collapsing surrounded him with a defender m front and one behind. Without Hosby scoring even one point..Jefferson still had an 18-11 lead after a quarter. Manspfle may have been a scoring machine, but Deaner was shutout.., and Hedgesville was not going to win w-ithout hLm. When Brown and Tyler Hes- ter scored early in the second quarter Jefferson had a momen- ta~- 25-13 lead. Momentary be- cause Brown scored on a follow of a Hosby miss to give the Cou- gars a 27-13 lead. Deaner then scored his first five points of the night to dam- age the Jefferson advantage ... but then Ryland Newman scored on a running 10-footer with only six seconds remaining in the haft to send ,Jefferson off the floor at halftime with a rousing 35-20 lead. In between halves, the large Jefferson student section was dismayed when their flag with a huge "J" lettered on a gold hack- ground was confiscated and re- moved. The V~WSSAC doesn't allow balloons, banners on walls, con- fetti, horns, cow bells, mechani- cal noisemakers, air horns, can- nons or muskets at Sectional basketball games. When Hedgesville adminis- trator Don Dellmger protested the use of the Jefferson flag with the large "J", it was removed by a Jefferson County school ad- ministrator. The Jefferson team didn't know of the fuss caused by the removal of the flag, but it began the second haft as flit were miss- ing one of its motivated scorers. The third quarter was much different from what had gone be- fore. Hedges~Alle got the jump on its needed comeback by outscor- mg the Cougars, 8-2, in the first 2:30 of the quarter. Creamer had his third foul at the 5:52 mark and Deaner was far more active than he had been m the first half. Deaner's three-pomter sliced the Jefferson lead to 37-31 . . and after a Jefferson score by Brown, Deaner's three-point- er made further im:oads in the shriveling Cougars' lead. Hedgesvflle was getting an unhurried, open three-point shot on ever)- possession as Jefferson Madison and Martins- through four quar- overtimes, the more and crowd grew pro- was magni- the so loud understanding six inches away both teams were acrobatic shots, the nets avoiding con- shots weren't at- SUccessful three- down with going to be fin- season. The win- to advance to winner Hedges- Sights. t 2,000 with deci- almost threat- by a jet ; to the air. to join Hedges- AAA Section- Jefferson. With emotion-charged, of the often- extra sessions to But it was worth snap- win streak six games. but self-reliant -~ nearly beaten in alinu~ of regu- then nearly fell minute of the first overtime, but found the scoring resources and rebound- ing to send the Bulldogs to the sidelines. Both sides had offensive wiz- ards at work. But despite the high score, it was Jefferson's superiority in categories other than points and made field goals that al- lowed the Cougars to win and ultimately fight another day. Rebounding. Jefferson was a clear winner. Freshman Vance Hosby had 17 of the Cougars' 43 rebounds. Many of Hosby's rebounds came to him when he claimed his own misses. But he and his teammates allowed Martinsburg only one score on a Bulldog offensive rebound. And the turnover ratio was another area where Jefferson was much the best. . The Bulldogs had 19 turn- overs, while Cougars wasted away just 10 floor errors. Ryland Newman and Josh Brown (the Cougars' ballhan- dlers and distributors about 75 percent of their time of pos- - session) were dramatically more effective than Martins- burg's Jamaal Robinson, Scotti Smith, Q'Monte Matheny, and Nick Benavides. Newman hdd eight assists and four turnovers. Brown had four assists and one turnover. Robinson had two assists and six turnovers. Matheny had no assists and three turnovers and Benavides played only four minutes. Jefferson still appeared to be falling short as the game wound into the last two min- utes of regulation. Missed free throws seem- players often completely lost sight of the Hedgesville player they were assigned to guard. Unhurried and open. Hedges~fille chopped off the points from the lead Jefferson had so carefully constructed in the first haft. But Creamer had a three- pointer and Brown converted his steal into a layup and Jefferson's lead was back to eight points. The lead could have been more, but Brown missed two more free throws right near the close of the third quarter. And Manspile drove for a layup as Jefferson clung to a 50-42 advantage with a quarter left. ,Jefferson's inability to shoot free throws was already causing prob- lems. But worse tJ~gs were wait- ing the Cougars at the foul line. The fourth quarter began with Deaner driving in for a layup that was countered by Edwards' tip-in. Manspile darted inside, but Creamer pitched in a three- pointer to propel the Cougars to a 55-46 lead. The open Hedgesville shots were still there for them to try. Manspile dumped in a three- pointer. It was only 57-52 with 4:50 showing. Jefferson's defense, combmed with its dismal free throw shoot- mg, were responsible for the fad- ing lead the Cougars still held to. Jefferson led by five with 2:29 showing . . . and had an m-bounds possession near mid- court. Miscommunication cost the Cougars a turnover that Manspile stole and sallied in for a layup as the lead was down to three. Back came Edwards. He made the most important points of the entire game by scoring on a 21- footer that hauled the Jefferson advantage back to 62-56. There was just 2:01 left on the clock. After Lopez connected on an alarmingly open three-pointer with 1:42 to play, the game be- came more catch-as-catch-can for beth teams. Hester missed two free throws . . but Manspile stumbled and had an unforced turnover, re- turning the ball to Jefferson with 1:02 showing. Jefferson needed a timeout when it couldn't make an m- bounds pass. ingly were going to ruin every- thing for the Cougars. Misses and the unconscious scoring of Andre Homes. Homes, who posted two games with 20 or more points against the Cougars in beth regular season meetings, didn't figure heavily in Martinsburg's offense in the first half. And the Bulldogs trailed, 40- 33, at the haft because of the absence of Homes' scoring. With Robinson, who just be- came eligible at the beginning of the second semester, direct- ing the sometimes jumbled flow of ~the Martinsburg offense, Homes was not a primary fig- ure. Instead, it was Robinson, Ma- theny, Nate Sowers, and Smith who mostly handled the hap- penings in the Bulldogs' half- court offense. But that all changed in the third quarter. And changed so quickly and so thoroughly that Jefferson couldn't stop what it couldn't find. Homes was able to score 20 points in the third quarter alone, almost single-handedly erasing Jefferson's seven-point halftime lead. The Bulldogs had 26 points in the third quarter . . . and Homes outscored the whole of Jefferson's 19-point effort in the period. The crowd was still elec- tric with energy, but it had a second- and third-wind itself, cheering and erupting in uni- son when its favorites found another crease in the defeuses. Jefferson had missed five straight free throws in the third quarter to significantly When the Cougars did make a successful in-bounds pass, Hos- by was fouled. Hosby missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation. Hedgesville had possession. It trailed, 62-59, with just under a minute to play. Finally, Jefferson wouldn't permit an open three-pointer. Hedgesville probed the perim- eter'with Manspi~e, Deaner, and I~pez searching in vain for the sort of shot that had been avail- able for all of the second haft. When nothing came of the ef- fort, Hedgesyille Coach Kelly Church called another timeout with 8.6 seconds left. The Eagles had to make an in- bounds pass.. and then find a player who could make a three- pointer to.get themselves even. Nobody got to attempt a game- evening three-pointer because Brown stole a lengthy and lofted pass to mid-court. Brown sailed in for a layup and was fouled with 3.6 seconds in the game. He made the first of two free throws for a four-pomt (and final margin) Jefferson lead. Brown missed the second free throw.., but the Eagles had run out of time. And Jefferson had made enough offensive noise earlier in the first haft to set ofta student-led celebration (reunited with the large "J" flag and paint- ed bodies) on the floor. The all-tournament team was announced as the Jefferson stu- dents kept to their celebrating. Jefferson had Edwards, Brown, and Ryland Newman named to the all-tournament team. Andre Homes and Jamaal Robinson from Martinsburg and Manspile and Deaner from Hedg- es~le completed that team. With its first Sectional cham- pionship in many years, Jeffer- son moved to the one-game Re- gional Tournament and met Hampshire, a team the Cougars owned two regular-season wins against. Hampshire was. 7-16 after it won its one-game Sectional Tournament over Musselman. Should the Cougars have dis- patched Co~ch Larry Sea's Tro- jans a third time on Tuesday, they would have qualified for next week's state tournament in Charleston. In an unprecedented move, the ease Martinsburg's defensive burden. And that burden was always troublesome for Coach Dave Rogers and his "let's-get-to-the- offensive end-right-now,' group of players. Martinsburg had little or no pressure on any Jefferson ball- handler. With Matheny, Robinson, Homes, and any reserves as li- abilities, the Cougars accept- ed or labored their way to the best of shots and the fistful of offensive rebounds that came to Hosby, Brown, Tyler Hester, and Jeremy Penwell. Brown wasn't as "scoring ac- tive" as Homes, but he and Newman were a combination that Martinsburg wished were somewhere else (anywhere else!) but at the Butcher Cen- ter chopping up its halfcourt defense. After three quarters, Mar- tinsburg had finally loosed Homes to shred the Cougars. And Jefferson's first-half prog- ress had been dimmed by its free throw misses. It was 59-59. One quar- ter left. Or was there just one quarter remaining? Brown, Newman, and Hosby received scoring help from spe- cialist Reggie Creamer in the fourth quarter. Creamer is a starter because he is considered Jefferson's best and most active defender. Assigned mostly to Matheny, Creamer still initiated enough offense to score 10 points and take away several rebounds. But Creamer's airball on a contorted layup try left Mar- tinsburg in possession in a Sports WVSSAC seeded all 16 Sectional winners and will align the quar- terfinal round pairings after all eight Regional Tournaments are completed. There will be eight Class AAA teams in the state tourna- ment. And the highest seeds will be matched against the lowest seeds remaining. Jefferson could qualify with a win over Hampshire at the Butcher Center on the cam- pus of Shepherd University. It wouldn't know which team it would be playing. And it probably wouldn't care, so long has it been since a Jeffer- son team visited Charleston in late March. The seniors -- Edwards and Creamer -- would'there.., hop- ing to celebrate a third Senior Night of an on-going season. Shown above are Desmond Newman (left) and Aaron Edwards (right). Edwards scored 20 points as the Cougars defeated Hedges- ville, 63-59, for the Class AAA Sectional championship la@Friday at Shepherd. Should Jefferson have defeated Hampshire a third time on Tuesday night in the Region Tournament, the Cougars would then qualify for the state tournament in Chadeston. The state tournament will be played from Wednesday, March 15, through Saturday, March 18. Pairings for the quarterfinal round of the state tournament will not be announced until all eight Regional Tour- naments have been completed. The surviving eight teams will be seeded for the first time in state toumament history. The No. 1 seed will face the No.8 seed; the No.2 seed will play the No.7 seed; the No.3 seed will be matched against the No.6 seed; and the No.4 seed takes an the No.5 seed. 71-71 game with 1:22 on the clock. The Butcher Center was nothing but noise and pressure and two seasons on the line. Homes made one-of-two free throws to set in motion enough mood swings over the last rain- ute-plus to satisfy Freud, Jung, and Adler. Robinson made two free throws that were counteracted by Brown's drive all the way to the basket Two more Robinson free throws were balanced by New- man's clutch eight-footer in the lane. A long, "baseball" pass to Homes led to his being inad- vertently tripped near the foul line. Homes made just one of two free throws, leaving the Cougars behind, 77-75, with 15 seconds left. Brown drove into the lane for about the 10th time and was able to drop through a run- hang ll-footer with six seconds showing. All Martinsburg got from its hurried run into its front- court was a near-impossible 30- foot throw from Robinson that wasn't close.., and meant a four-minute overtime. Jefferson bad overcome a three-point lead in the last minute to cause the first over- time. Things looked bleak (again) for the Cougars when it mis- fired on four rat-a-tat shots within five feet. And Martinsburg found Homes in a scattered court for an emphatic dunk. But Newman's drive, and Penwell's layup made it 81- 81 because Robinson had also scored on a drive against the set-up Jefferson defense. Penwell missed in close and Brown to couldn't convert on a follow-shot try, so Smith's only points of the last half and over- time brought the Bulldogs an 83.81 lead. Another Jefferson layup carved another tie. And Sowers missed an open 12-footer with four seconds on the clock to bring a second overtime. The crowd still had its origi- nal energy.., if not its now- hoarse voices. The players responded in kind. And the second overtime began the same as the first one had with Homes taking an over-the-defender pass in the low post for a go-ahead layup. Penwell twisted in a layup for the Cougars. Newman's ath- letic-to-the-nth-degree baseline jumper finally produced an 8% 85 Jefferson advantage. Penwell made a free throw ~nd missed one to give the Cou- gars a slimmer.than-hoped-for 88-85 margin. Brown plucked Robinson's missed 22-footer from the air, but he was suspended in mid- air over the end line and about to lose possession. Brown called a timeout be- fore he landed. There was 1:44 showing on the second.overtime clock. Brown had only his second turnover with 1:26 remaining, giving Homes' successful drive a chance to get Martinsburg back within one point at 88-87. Hosby's tip-in~ of Brown's missed follow-shot boosted the Cougars' lead to 90-87, but Ma- theny brought another tie with' his 19-footer on the baseline. Brown took the basketball to the same area he had been able to penetrate for the entire game -- within six-feet of the rim -- and he scored his 24th point. Jefferson had a 92-90 lead with 15 seconds on the over- head scoreboard clock. The Bulldogs called a time- out. Needing a three-pointer to win or a Homes/Robinson/Ma- theny two-pointer to tie, the Bulldogs fumbled away (Robin- son) their 19th turnover in the lane. Brown recovered the loose ball and drove unimpeded to the game's last points (and last easy basket scored on the Bull- dog defense in their 14.9 sea- son). The Jefferson student crowd flowed from its end zone seats and the court was filled with smiles and backslaps from the eager-to-celebrate teens.., and the sweat-soaked faces, bodies, and uniforms of the players. Jefferson coach Bob Starkey had beaten his one-tLme play- er for the second time in three 2004-2005 games . . . and the Cougars were ~ady to prepare for Friday's championship game with a 17-5 overall record. Two overtimes. Poor free throw shooting. A 39-point per- formance from an opponent. But rebounding, far fewer turnovers, and so much scor- ing within six-feet of the basket were just enough to keep the season in motion . . . and give the Cougars another visit to the Butcher Center court for a command performance in front of about 2,000 more ready-to- yell fans.