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FCS guards strengthen first-place hand
Feb 07, 2007 12:00 am
With teams focusing more and more on Michael Teeter inside, Friendship Christian coach Matt Bradshaw had been looking for ways to involve the Commander guards in the offense more.
He found it Monday night in a 63-53 win over visiting Westmoreland at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
Senior guard John Doak attacked the basket from the weak side for 17 points while John Hatcher did likewise for 14. Teeter posted up for 12 while Garrett McKnight knocked down 10 as Friendship, which returned to the Associated Press Class A poll at No. 10 earlier Monday, took command of first place in District 8-A at 9-1 and 18-5 overall.
"The way Westmoreland plays defense, they play hard helpside," Bradshaw said. "They do a good job collapsing on Michael inside. Our guards had to do a good job attacking the basket.
"Teams are starting to double team Michael and we've got to be able to counter it."
Friendship scored the first six points and never led by fewer than four the rest of the way. The Commanders usually enjoyed an advantage in the 10-point range.
Doak dropped in half of Friendship's first-period points as the Commanders led 12-6 at the break. He had six more in the second as the hosts opened a 12-point lead on several occasions before Westmoreland converted back-to-back three-point plays to draw within 29-24 by halftime.
A Teeter turnaround jumper in the post opened a 42-32 lead late in the third quarter before Westmoreland scored six straight to climb within 42-38 early in the fourth. But Hatcher converted a running one-hander into a three-point play to turn back the rally.
Both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor and had 23 rebounds. Westmoreland committed 16 turnovers to Friendship's nine.
Adam Stephens scored six points for Friendship while Lee Maasen and Cameron Spaulding each tossed in two.
Patrick Jenkins came off the Westmoreland bench to join starter Tyler Graves with 15 points apiece as the Eagles, who were aiming to pull into a first-place tie, slipped to 15-10, 8-3.
Westmoreland beat Gordonsville last Friday to give Friendship sole possession of first place in the district. The Commanders will close the season with home games with league rivals Mt. Juliet Christian [tonight] and Merrol Hyde [Friday].
The first-place finisher will have a first-round bye in the district to advance to the semifinals at Gordonsville and get a bid to the Region 4-A tournament.
The Commanders wrapped up their non-district schedule Saturday with a 65-54 matinee win at Portland.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.