HAGERSTOWN —The North Hagerstown boys basketball team was rather crafty on Friday.
The Hubs played a form of “Now you see it, now you don’t” defense. It didn’t matter to Boonsboro. The Warriors had trouble with both of them.
North rolled out all-out pressure — the defense Boonsboro could see — midway through the first quarter to shake the Warriors. It made an impression that stayed with Boonsboro in the second half as the Hubs rolled to a 63-31 MVAL Antietam victory.
“They beat us in every facet of the game,” said Boonsboro coach Skip Chambers. “We couldn’t run a thing. They took us out of our offense and took us out of our defense. We didn’t execute.”
The Warriors (5-5, 3-2), who entered the game tied for the league lead, couldn’t handle North’s sticky pressure, which started with four minutes remaining in the first half.
The Hubs outscored Boonsboro 24-12 over the last 12 minutes of the half to take a 30-14 lead at the intermission.
North not only made it difficult for the Warriors to inbound the ball, resulting in loose play, but the Hubs were able to recover when the press failed to work and beat Boonsboro down the floor to prevent any open looks at the basket.
“We’ve been working on it a lot and, at times, we’ve struggled,” said North coach Kevin Hartman. “We’ve been getting better day by day.”
Friday was better than others for the Hubs (6-4, 4-2), who were coming off a disheartening loss to Williamsport.
“We wanted to come out and respond positively after Wednesday’s loss,” Hartman said. “In both halves, we asked them to play hard, be strong with the ball and play defense. I was pleased with the way they played.”
North forced 16 first-half turnovers to get the lead. The impressive thing, though, came in the second half, when the Hubs pulled off the press and settled into a zone.
Boonsboro continued to make mistakes, turning the ball over nine more times and coming up short on many shots.
“We turned the ball over 16 times in the first half. That’s more than we do in two games,” Chambers said. “You have to give all the credit to North. We have to get the job done because these are the teams that we have to be able to compete with.”
North extended the lead to 50-20 by the end of the third quarter and led by as much a 59-22 with 4:30 remaining. The Warriors closed with a 7-4 run to end the game.
Ten of North’s 11 players scored, led by Eli Boykin and Isaiah Keyes with 12 each, while Kenny McCrary added eight points and 11 rebounds.
“We want them to be consistent,” Hartman said. “We want them to play hard all four quarters. But as a coach, you never see a perfect game. We keep stressing that you can’t take plays off and stop playing for even two minutes. Every player played consistently for four quarters and, for that, I was very pleased.”
Dylan Coulter was the only Boonsboro player to reach double digits with 10.
North Hagerstown 63, Boonsboro 31
BOONSBORO (5-5, 3-2)
Chowden 1, Jardeleza 3, Saunders 8, Strunk 2, Bennett 7, Coulter 10. Totals 9 13-23 31.
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (6-4, 4-2)
Ober 2, Gantt 6, Boykin 12, Karlen 7, Keyes 12, McCreary 8, Carey 5, Yacyk 4, Peralta 5, Reynolds 2. Totals 24 10-15 63.
Boonsboro 4 10 6 11 — 31
North 12 18 20 13 — 63
3-point goals — North Hagerstown 5 (Gantt, Boykin, Karlen, Keyes, Carey).