The three participating county teams in the Hub Holiday Classic at North Hagerstown came together for a hat trick of victories on Tuesday.
In the opening act, Smithsburg defeated Loudoun County (Va.) 66-55 before South Hagerstown took care of Huntingtown 56-42. After Oakdale downed Brunswick 61-52 in the third game, the host Hubs fought tooth and nail with Middletown before pulling out a 52-49 victory.
“We had a thin bench tonight and relied on some guys who stepped up,” said North coach Kevin Hartman. “You can say this truly was a team effort all around.”
The Hubs dressed only nine, playing without the services of injured Teddy Schoeck and Max Ober.
It all came about after North (2-5) blew two leads but found a resurgence of energy in the dwindling moments.
North used a 12-0 run in the second quarter to take a 21-11 lead. The Hubs still owned an eight-point advantage in the fourth quarter, leading 44-36 after a basket by Nick Colvin.
But Middletown guard Zach Fontenot caught fire with three buckets, eventually knotting the score at 45-all with 2:45 remaining.
Genc Pllana hit a trey for North but Middletown responded with two buckets and a 49-48 lead — the Knights’ first lead of the game — with 1:12 remaining.
But Pllana hit two free throws to help North regain a 50-49 lead before Colvin stole a pass in the front court and scored for the final margin of victory.
“(J.R.) Railing, (Andrew) Yacyk and Colvin had their best games,” said Hartman.
Not one Hub hit double figures, but everything was spread out. Railing had nine points, Colvin and Pllana eight apiece and Will Peralta had seven.
Ethan Winn led Middletown (3-2) with 15 points and Fontenot had 13.
* South Hagerstown (5-2) wasn’t going to win any Oscar for its shooting performance from the floor, but the defense could have been a unanimous decision for its effort.
The guard trio of C.J. Davis, Xavier Freeman and Charlie Herring bugged Huntingtown all night with their swarming, trapping defense. They shared in honors, making steals and setting up Devonte Morel in transition.
Morel led South with 18 points, many coming off the thievery of his teammates.
“Our defense played very well,” South coach Kevin Naylor said in an understatement. “Those three are not only quick but they can be physical.”
Huntingtown (3-3) may not have been ready for that.
Leading 18-14 in the second quarter, South put on a scoring burst that gave them a 24-14 lead at the half it was stretched into the opening moments of the third quarter to 32-16.