McCrary did it on the inside while Ober got it done from the outside as the pair led North Hagerstown’s boys to a 56-43 MVAL Antietam Conference victory over Smithsburg on Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-3 junior McCrary set the tone for the Hubs (15-4, 11-2) — and for that matter the Leopards (7-11, 5-7), as well — in the first 1:35 of the game.
Putting together two offensive rebounds and an end-to-end dribble move, quickly it was McCrary 6, Smithsburg 0 and the Hubs never looked back.
“(Kenny) came out ready to play,” North coach Kevin Hartman said. “He doesn’t do more than he is capable of doing, just what he does best.”
McCrary’s fast start led to a 12-point, 13-rebound performance, with seven of the rebounds coming off the offensive glass.
Meanwhile, the 6-foot senior Ober had a game-high 16 points, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and going 6-for-9 overall from the floor.
In holding onto first place in the Antietam, North held a 16-9 lead after one quarter and used a late flurry in the second quarter to expand a seven-point lead into a 33-18 halftime edge.
McCrary hit a bucket, Ted Schoeck hit a pair of goals and Isaiah Keyes followed with a deuce in the Hubs’ splurge before the half.
“I should have called timeout right away and stopped their momentum,” Smithsburg coach Mike Williams said.
To Hartman’s dismay, North came out ragged in the third quarter. But the Hubs figured things out and eventually took a 20-point lead at 48-28 just seconds into the final quarter.
“We fell asleep a little to start the third quarter,” Hartman said. “Overall, I was pleased with our defense, throwing some traps on defense.”
North’s defense hounded Smithsburg into a critical eight turnovers in the first quarter.
“North had good pressure defense,” William’s said. “We could have handled the ball a lot better. We’re putting a lot of pressure on Kevin (Gibson) to handle the ball.”
As has been his custom, Hartman continued to go up and down North’s bench for productivity, as nine players scored. The only negatives on the night were at the foul line — where the Hubs missed half of their 20 shots — and from 3-point range, where North made only 2 of 20.
Gibson was the only Leopard in double figures with 11 points. Matt Sprecher had nine points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Smithsburg, impressing Williams in the process.
“He works hard and he hurts after losing a game,” Williams said.
North Hagerstown 56, Smithsburg 43
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (15-4, 11-2)
Ober 16, Keyes 6, McCrary 12, Yacyk 6, Peralta 5, Gantt 2, Schoeck 4, Karlen 1, Carey 4. Totals 22 10-20 56.
SMITHSBURG (7-11, 5-7)
Miller 4, Sprecher 9, Shiffler 3, Stevens 2, Barnes 8, Gibson 11, Tracy 1, Ryan 5. Totals 18 5-10 43.
North 16 17 12 11 — 56
Smithsburg 9 9 10 15 — 43
3-point goals — North North 2 (Ober 2), Smithsburg 2 (Sprecher, Ryan).