HAGERSTOWN—Using a tennis analogy, North Hagerstown won two of three sets against Clear Spring on Friday night, as the Hubs seized a 73-57 victory over Clear Spring in an MVAL Antietam Conference season finale.
Set 1: North wins it by moving out to a 28-15 lead early in the second quarter.
Set 2: Clear Spring starts to come back and outscores North 28-15 to forge a 43-43 tie with seconds left in the third quarter.
Set 3: North takes control with a 28-point fourth quarter for the win.
“I think we got a little overconfident when we got the big lead early,” said North coach Kevin Hartman. “We lost the lead because we quit rebounding and had turnovers.”
The same problem possessed Clear Spring (10-10, 6-8) early and late.
“We’re just not going to win if we can’t take care of the basketball,” said Clear Spring coach Ryan Grabill.
Clear Spring took advantage of North’s woes in the comeback, scoring the first nine points of the third quarter, five from Ralph Weaver, including a 3-pointer.
The Blazers took the lead 39-38 on a bucket by Mickey Sensenbaugh, but North righted itself and took a 45-43 lead at the third quarter break on a bucket by J.R. Railing.
Leading 48-46, North went on a 13-0 blitz as eight straight possessions by Clear Spring resulted in either missed shots or turnovers.
Railing and Andrew Yacyk each had four points in the run, and Railing took over the remainder of the game. He scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in the fourth quarter.
“He took over the game completely,” Grabill said of Railing, who led North with 22 points along with a team-high eight rebounds and seven assists.
“After the Christmas break, Coach told me to start being more a leader,” said Railing, who has increased his scoring average by nearly two points since the early season. “Things have opened up, I’m taking my shots and we’ve been coming together with chemistry so much better.”
Railing hit 6 of 12 shots from the floor as North shot a tantalizing 63 percent (26 of 41). In addition, the Hubs were 18 of 21 at the free throw line. Railing’s connections were from behind the arc, mid-range jumpers and slashing drives to the hoop.
Genc Pllana had 11 points and Nick Colvin and Will Peralta each had 10 points for North.
Clear Spring was led by Ryan Aaron’s 14 points. Ralph Weaver scored 11 and Nick Hill managed 10, hitting only 3 of 16 from the field.
The win guaranteed North (11-9, 9-5) third place in the Antietam and with two non-conference games remaining, at least a .500 record after the miserable start.
JV: North, 51-48 (CS: Schultz 17; N: Karlen 16).
North Hagerstown 73, Clear Spring 57
CLEAR SPRING (10-10, 6-8)
S. Elwood 2, Weaver 11, Cornwell 2, Hill 10, Brant 3, Sensenbaugh 4, Walling 5, Aaron 14, Miller 6. Totals 22-54 10-16 57.
NORTH HAGERSTOWN (11-9, 9-5)
Colvin 10, Pllana 11, Yacyk 6, Railing 22, Keyes 8, Peralta 10, Ober 6. Totals 26-41 18-21 73.
Clear Spring 9 15 19 14 — 57
North 22 8 15 28 — 73
3-point goals — Clear Spring 3 (Aaron 2, Hill), North 3 (Pllana 2, Railing). Rebounds — Clear Spring 28 (Hill 5), North 31 (Railing 8). Turnovers — Clear Spring 17, North 16.