They may have been overlooked before the season started, but North Hagerstown’s boys are on the radar screen now.
The Hubs (13-4, 9-2) are fashioning one of the top records in Washington County at present and are in first place in the MVAL Antietam Conference.
North earned back-to-back wins over Williamsport and Catoctin on Tuesday and Wednesday while continuing to work on the ‘team’ philosophy.
“I would have not thought we’d have this kind of record at this point, but we’re a team and I am thrilled the way these kids have played for each other and the roles they have taken on for one another,” said Hubs coach Kevin Hartman. “We are working by the premise of just taking one practice at a time, one game at a time, and they have done that.
The team aspect is readily apparent in the statistics.
Isaiah Keyes leads North with a 10.9 scoring average, but the Hubs have received contributions up and down a a lineup that includes 10 players averaging anywhere from 2.0 to 9.9 points, along with the other intricacies such as rebounding and assists.
North has been boosted by the return of 6-foot-3 junior Ted Schoeck, who hurt his knee at the end of the 2011-12 season and finally appeared in his first game this season against West York at the Pennsylvania-Maryland Showcase Challenge.
* Broadfording Christian boys coach Burnie Clutz never sidesteps playing upper-level competition outside of the Mason Dixon Christian Conference.
As usual, the Lions have tested themselves in Williamsport’s Doub Classic, against several Cumberland and Allegany County schools and anyone else that needs a game, even if it is late in the season.
Case in point came Saturday, when Broadfording was asked to step in and pinch hit for Highland View Academy — which could not make the trip to Gettysburg, Pa., for the Pennsylvania-Maryland Showcase Challenge because the school was shut down.
“The Gettysburg head coach (Jeff Bair) had remembered playing BCA in summer ball, liked the way we competed and was told we’d play anybody, anywhere, anytime we could fit it in,” Clutz said.
On Friday, Bair called Lions athletic director Bill Wyand, who contacted Clutz to see if the team would play. Clutz said yes and rounded up the players for the game Saturday against New Oxford.
“The players said they were ‘in’ but unfortunately our performance was not indicative of our team,” Clutz said of the 61-51 loss.
Highland View Academy had already been in Keene, Texas, for the Southwest Christian tournament with its experienced players. The remainder, plus some junior varsity players, were going to make the trip to Gettysburg before school was locked down on Friday.
* Martinsburg’s trip last weekend to Ohio was a good learning experience.
Bulldogs coach Dave Rogers annually takes his teams on an extensive road trip, and this year the Bulldogs went to Massillon last Friday and to Canton on Saturday.
After Friday’s victory over Massillon, the Bulldogs were part of the Dunks 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University, going up against touted Villa Angela-St. Joseph, who sported a front line of 6-9, 6-8 and 6-7.
Martinsburg (14-2) went down with a fight, losing 67-59 in overtime.
“It was a good experience for the kids,” Rogers said. “We should have won Saturday, but that team was very athletic and quick.”
Rogers also said guard Jalen Lewis got some good looks from the coaching staff at Cleveland State University.
* Not to look ahead, but let’s do it anyway.
Currently tied with 8-1 records in the Mason Dixon Christian Conference boys race, Broadfording and Heritage Academy are on target to decide the regular-season title in their second meeting of the year on Feb. 8.
In their first meeting on Jan. 15, Heritage eked out a 62-61 victory over the Lions.
Heading into Friday night’s games, North Hagerstown holds the Antietam lead at 9-2 while South Hagerstown is 7-2. The Hubs have three games left in conference play, while the Rebels have five yet to play, along with non-conference challenges against Oakdale and Linganore.
St. Maria Goretti is in a ‘must-win’ situation the rest of the way in the Baltimore Catholic League if the Gaels hope to get a home game in the tournament quarterfinals. Goretti’s hopes to climb into fourth place were tarnished by Archbishop Spalding in a 61-54 loss Wednesday. Spalding currently occupies that spot with a 7-3 record, while the Gaels are 5-6.
Goretti plays at Mount Carmel Friday night and hopes for some help from St. Frances, which plays Spalding. On Sunday, Spalding comes to the Gael Center.
Boys — North’s Kenny McCrary with eight points and 15 rebounds against West York, 14 points and 10 rebounds vs. Williamsport and 19 points and 11 rebounds vs. Catoctin; James Buchanan’s Grant Strawoet with 29 points vs. Littlestown; Southern Fulton’s Nick Smartt with 25 points and six rebounds vs. Everett; Heritage Academy’s Alex Cosner with 18 points and 19 rebounds vs. New Life Christian; South Hagerstown’s Michael Hill with 21 points vs. Smithsburg; Saint James’ Obi Enechionyia with 20 points, 23 rebounds and four blocks vs. St. Andrew’s.
Girls — Mercersburg’s Melody Gomez, back on the floor after early injuries, with 12 points and 10 rebounds vs. Middleburg Academy and 17 points and 10 rebounds vs. Blair Academy; Isabel Forsman with 24 points vs. Brunswick and teammate Samantha Staley with 11 points and 13 rebounds vs. Brunswick; South Hagerstown’s Tayana Stewart with 14 points and 10 rebounds vs. Smithsburg; North Hagerstown’s Crystal McLeod with 27 points vs. Williamsport.
Indoor Track & Field
The Maryland Class 1A West region championships will be held Saturday at Hagerstown Community College, beginning at 1:45 p.m.
Boonsboro, which swept the boys and girls team titles at the Washington County championships on Jan. 18, has the No. 1 seeds in 15 of the 26 overall events, boys and girls combined.
The Warriors’ top-seeded girls include Sarah Zielinski in the 1,600 (5:22.60) and 3,200 (11:29.81), Emily Cronise in the 800 (2:29.27), Michaela Grove in the 500 (1:28.46) and Maggie Sullivan in the high jump (5-0). They also are No. 1 in the 4x800 relay (10:15.72).
Boonsboro’s top-seeded boys include Sean Snyder in the 1,600 (4:39.11) and 3,200 (10:12.39), Ethan Allnutt in the 500 (1:10.17), Nick Seabright in the 55 hurdles (8.31) and pole vault (11-7), Josh Testa in the 800 (2:04.63) and Gerick Allen in the shot put (45-5). The Warriors also are No. 1 in the 4x400 (3:39.65) and 4x800 (8:34.89).
The Smithsburg boys have three No. 1 seeds — Zane Gardenhour in the 300 (36.62), Caleb Cardone in the 55 (6.81) and their relay team in the 4x200 (1:33.61).
Emma Gerhold is seeded first in the pole vault (9-10) for the Smithsburg girls, while Sarah Elwood is No. 1 in the shot put (29-6) for the Clear Spring girls.
* North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown will compete in the 3A West championships Wednesday at the Baltimore Armory, and Williamsport will compete in the 2A West meet Feb. 9 at HCC.
— Assistant sports editor Andrew Mason and staff writer Tim Koelble compiled this week's prep notebook.