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North East boys basketball pulls away late to beat North Harford, 66-54

The North Harford boys basketball team was trying to bounce back Tuesday from a home loss suffered the night before.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, lightning struck twice and they were victims of another home loss as North East pulled away late to win, 66-54, in Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Susquehanna Division action.

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The Indians (2-9, 2-5), led by senior Austin Keefer, used an 11-4 scoring run early in the final quarter to open up a 10-point lead. Keefer, who led all scorers with 24 points, scored 12 in the final quarter.

“My goal tonight was, as a senior, to put the team on my back and make sure we get this W to get us rolling,” Keefer said. “And we did that tonight. In my honest opinion, it was a team effort, not just one person like me. I think we all contributed good tonight.”

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North Harford (2-11, 1-5) led early, 10-6, but the Indians closed the first quarter on an 8-3 run to lead, 14-13.

Senior George Alexander, who scored 17 points to lead the Hawks, knocked down four 3-pointes in the first half. Two came in the second quarter, while teammates John Allred and Patrick Shrodes also made 3s to push the Hawks ahead.

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Keefer, though, scored five straight points and the Indians tightened the game. The teams went into halftime tied at 31.

Out of the break, Keefer scored the first basket, but North Harford scored the next eight points to lead, 39-33. North East coach Seth Grimes called timeout with 4:03 to play in the third quarter.

The stoppage proved good as the Indians rallied. Luke Keefer (16 points), made three 3-point shots in the quarter and Jabez Griffin (10 points) added a basket and free throw to keep North East ahead, 45-42, through three quarters.

“We played Friday night and we finally started to execute a little bit and trusting everybody on the team and getting everybody involved,” Grimes said. “We said, if we keep doing that, we can start to pull off some wins in the division, you guys just got to trust. I think they did a really good job sharing the ball, running their offensive sets.”

Ethan Hassell added 10 points for the Indians.

Evan Wagner had 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals for the Hawks, while Shrodes finished with nine points. Garrett Reinecke added eight points and four rebounds and John Allred scored six points.

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“They made a nice run, they shot the ball really well and we tried to adjust, go with a box-in-one,” Hawks coach Nick Panos said. “It worked a little but, I actually was not unhappy with the way our guys played. We got them at their place and they returned the favor tonight.”


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