North Hopkins drops warm-up game

From Staff Reports

Feb. 19, 2007 - JOHNTOWN - The North Hopkins boys lost their final warm-up game on Saturday, 71-65, to Class 3A Gilmer to end a nine-game winning streak.

The Panthers (18-12) will now wait to see who they play in the area round of the Class A, Div. I playoffs. Because they are the District 18-A champions, the Panthers will receive a first-round bye and will face the winner between Cayuga and Cushing late in the week, probably on Saturday.

Against Gilmer, North Hopkins took a 36-26 halftime lead, but the Buckeyes tied the game at 48-48 by the end of the third quarter.

"We really shot well the first half and worked the ball well on the offensive end," said NHHS head coach Matt Rager. "I think we mentally got fatigued in the fourth quarter. We had a Friday night game and then came back at 3 o'clock on Saturday to play again, and I think that wore on us."

Seniors Gerad Woodard and Steve Crocker each bucketed 20 points to lead the Panthers, while Dustin Clements and Rickey Willis added 11 points each.

The Panthers hit five 3-pointers (three by Clements and two by Crocker), but made just 6-of-15 from the free throw line.

"If we can take a lesson from this, then we'll benefit from it," Rager said.

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