Bus was late, but Washington was ready for Railroaders
HAGERSTOWN, Md. — About the only thing Washington was late for on Friday at the Hubs Holiday Classic at North Hagerstown High School was the scheduled start of its game against Brunswick.
Turns out there was no bus ready to transport the Patriots to the scheduled 2 p.m. game. When Coach Don Bullett alerted Jefferson County officials to his predicament, a bus came and got the team and the game started at 2:10 p.m.
The game was decided in Washington’s favor in about 10 more minutes as the Patriots scored the first 19 points before breezing to an 86-43 win over the Railroaders.
A 19-0 lead has a way of settling things in a hurry.
Washington was cool and calm in dispatching the ready-to-be-tamed Railroaders. Quickness, attention to defense, an alarming rebounding superiority, and an appetite for Brunswick turnovers launched the Patriots toward their seventh win in nine games this season.
Dominique Newman sliced through the Brunswick defense often enough to send the Patriots in the right direction. Maleke Jones was the second-quickest player on the floor, making him the second-most effective as Washington assumed a 27-6 lead after one quarter and then added the first six points of the second period to make it a 33-6 lead.
The first half was basically a wind storm of Brunswick turnovers against Washington’s backcourt pressure — 11 in the first quarter and 18 at the half — and reliable defense as the fast-paced action wasn’t slowed by many fouls. Brunswick shot no free throws in the first half.
Washington reserves played the final five minutes of the opening quarters. The count was 39-14 at the half.
An eight-point blitz in a little over a minute boosted the growing lead to 53-24 . . . and with 1:14 left in the third quarter the Patriot lineup had all reserves again, and would stay that way through all of the last period.
Keldon Bell hardly missed a field goal attempt and was especially effective after intermission. He finished with 15 points, just four shy of Newman’s 19 points.
Brunswick had committed 28 turnovers because Washington relented with its pressure for most of the second half. Of the 11 free throws the Patriots tried, they made eight.
In its two games in the Hubs Classic, Washington had pressured its way to huge wins. And had given its six reserves so much playing time, meaning that group might be asking for a second bow in Hagerstown next Christmas holiday season.
Leopards a ‘Hub Invite’ treat for Washington
BOB MADISON Spirit Staff
HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Washington found a holiday tournament to continue its preparation for the inevitable dates it has coming against Martinsburg and Hedgesville.
The North Hagerstown Hubs Holiday Classic gave the Patriots a bridge between their pre-Christmas schedule and the 2013 portion of the pre-Sectional games.
Last Thursday in a mid-afternoon game at North Hagerstown High, the Patriots quickly made mincemeat of the Smithsburg Leopards.
The game was decided after three minutes. At most.
Washington’s teamwide quickness had made Smithsburg a dejected and answerless team in three minutes when it had a nine-point lead with steals, layups, and offensive rebounds.
The early display would mean a 22-point lead after one quarter and then an 88-50 win that had wholesale reserves playing the last 11 minutes.
Leads came at 27-5 by the close of the first period and then 51-19 by halftime.
Smithsburg had been stung so badly by Washington’s pressure defense, offensive rebounding, and silent intimidation that the Leopards showed 13 first-quarter turnovers and five first-quarter points.
It was a 39-9 count about half-way through the second quatter. Washington starters Dominique Newman, Kendell Smith, Maleke Jones, Keldon Bell, and Jerome Jones had blended their steals, assist passes, and both-ends rebounds well enough to have almost all the Leopards hanging their heads and waiting for the game to end.
Washington also continuously marched to the free throw line — a place it will have to accomplish some things if it expects any success against either Martinsburg or Hedgesville. In stumping the Leopards, Washington went 17-for-29 (58.6 percent) with its many free throws.
Its man-to-man, full court press had withered Smithsburg on the vine. There had been 19 Leopard turnovers in the first half. There had been two Leopard offensive rebounds. Ten Patriots had played in the first half . . . and the score was 51-19.
Substitutes were everywhere when the count went to 66-29. Even when its deepest reserves missed their first six shots of the last quarter, Washington was still increasing the margin.
Washington completed the runaway with 31 more rebounds and 16 steals.
Even though the schedule was still in its infancy and the Patriot record was at 6-2, just over the horizon were more meaningful dates with Martinsburg and Hedgesville — teams that aren’t often tainted by pressure defenses or opponent’s offensive rebounds, but can be beaten by excellent free throw shooting.