By BOB PARASILITI
11:17 PM EST, January 29, 2013
The Smithsburg boys basketball team found itself driving the lane under the influence.
The Leopards would be the first to tell you, any kind of DUI isn’t good.
This time it was against a flawed but active South Hagerstown defense. The Rebels altered shots around the rim and used an all-around effort by Michael Hill on Tuesday to claim a 61-48 victory over Smithsburg.
South (10-5, 7-2) held Smithsburg (6-9, 4-5) scoreless over the final 5:30 of the first quarter to take a 15-3 lead and never looked back — nor did the Rebels have to. The Leopards’ shots were either short or errant when they did get into the lane.
“It was 15-3 in the first quarter and how many blocked shots did they have,” said Smithsburg coach Mike Williams. “(Devon) King is going to get his blocks. We needed to get him off his feet, but it was a block party in the first quarter.”
It wasn’t the best game for the Rebels, who played with only eight players because of injuries and poor grades. But it was good enough for the win.
“Our defense played fairly well, but our rotation wasn’t good,” said South coach Kevin Naylor. “We had a lot of blocks, but that was because we didn’t take advantage of the chances to take charges. We are in disarray.”
The one constant was Hill, who was a hill Smithsburg couldn’t climb.
Hill played most of his defense at the top of the key and contested — and stole — a number of passes. He was able to turn those chances into easy scores to lead the Rebels with 21 points.
“Hill played smart basketball,” Naylor said. “He plays well when he focuses on both ends of the floor. Sometimes when he isn’t getting his shot, he tends to let down on the defensive side, but he gets into the flow when he plays defense.
Hill scored four points in South’s closing 11-0 run in the first quarter to take the 15-3 lead. He added a 3 at the end of the half for a 32-15 advantage at the intermission.
Smithsburg came out in a 2-3 zone in the second half, trying to take away South’s inside game, but the two teams played even in the third quarter as the Rebels’ maintained a 50-33 advantage.
“We played a lot better in the second half,” Williams said. “We played them even after the first quarter. We came out in the zone and it’s pick your poison. Play man and King beats you inside. Play zone and they have good outside shooters.”
Smithsburg struggled after losing starting guard Cobi King late in the first quarter with an ankle sprain. He never returned and finished with one point.
Devon King scored 11 for the Rebels, while Cedric Barnes led Smithsburg with 10 points.
South Hagerstown 61, Smithsburg 48
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (10-5, 7-2)
Freeman 6, Johnson 9, Swayne 5, Hill 21, Henson 6, D. King 11, S. King 4. Totals 22 11-16 61.
SMITHSBURG (6-9, 4-5)
Miller 3, King 1, Ryan 6, Lane 5, Sprecher 6, Stevens 4, Gibson 5, Dinterman 3, Tracey 4, Barnes 10. Totals 16 12-18 48.
South 15 17 18 11 — 61
Smithsburg 3 12 18 15 — 38
3-point goals — South Hagerstown 6 (Hill 2, Freeman, Johnson, Swayne, Henson), Smithsburg 4 (Ryan 2, Gibson, Lane). Technical foul — Gibson.
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