Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

March 9, 2013

Brunswick overpowers Allegany, 73-48

Railroaders win region, earn state berth

HAGERSTOWN — One team may have played its best game of the year. The other, likely its worst.

The result was a runaway, as Brunswick mowed down Allegany 73-48 on Saturday to win the Class 1A West Region championship and a trip to next weekend’s state tournament.

The Railroaders (16-9) hit five three-point goals in the first quarter and eight in the first half to build a big lead, then coasted the rest of the way. Zach Hossler had a game-high 23 points, four three-point goals and four assists to lead the way.

Dallas Darling added 13 points and six rebounds, Chance Smith 12 points and Joe Fawley had seven points, eight rebounds and six assists for Brunswick.

Trenton Eirich had 11 points, Christian Thomas 10 and Bryce Nightengale seven and 11 rebounds for Allegany (19-6).

Brunswick shot 15 for 28 in the first half, was 8 for 13 from the three-point line, and led 46-27 at halftime.

“It was probably our best game of the year,’’ said Brunswick coach Dan McLane. “I thought we played well in all facets of the game. Shooting-wise, we’ve had a game or two like this one, but we’ve also had a few stinkers during the season, too.”

Allegany overcame a slow start with an 11-2 spurt midway through the first quarter and grabbed a 15-12 lead after a three-pointer by Eirich with 2:30 left. That would be the Campers’ only lead as Hossler quickly tied it with a three-pointer, and made two three-point shots and scored eight points in the final minute to give the Railroaders at 26-19 lead after the first quarter.

Even when the Campers came up with a big play, like Nightengale’s blocked shot to begin the second quarter, the ball ended up in the hands of Brandon Axline, who made a three-pointer, Brunswick’s sixth in the first 8:30, pushing the lead to double figures for the first time at 29-19.

“I didn’t think the effort was there. It wasn’t much of an effort for a region final,’’ said perplexed Allegany coach Tedd Eirich. “It was a total lack of focus. I can’t explain it.

“They outhustled us for every loose ball and we played absolutely no defense. Everything we’ve worked hard on all year, the fundamentals, we didn’t do defensively.”

Brunswick’s 46 points were the most Allegany allowed in a first half all season, and the 73 points for the game were the third most. The Campers hadn’t given up more than 70 points since Christmas.

The Railroaders were just as impressive with their cuts and passes in the halfcourt game as they were with their long-range shooting. They ended up with 18 assists and held a 33-24 edge in rebounding. And with Allegany not faring well from the outside, Brunswick’s zone defense was effective in bottling up the inside.

“Getting off to the start that we did was huge for us,’’ McLane said. “Most of the teams in the West seem to play at lot of man-to-man defense, and the last time we played Allegany (a 77-56 Allegany win at Frederick, 2009 region final), they got ahead and forced us to play man. We thought we could have success in our zone. Of course, it helps when you shoot this well.”

Brunswick led by at least 20 points the whole second half. It was 60-36 after three quarters. The final score matched the largest lead of the day.

Allegany entered the game having won 12 of its last 13 games.

“We had a great season and we fought off some adversity and different things thrown at us along the way,’’ said Eirich. “We met challenges all year and I’m proud how hard all the guys played. They worked hard and got better each week, and that’s what you want to see. It’s just difficult to end the year with a game like this.”

Brunswick will play New Town (21-3) in the state semifinals on Friday at the University of Maryland. The other 1A semifinal pits 14-time state champion Dunbar (24-2) against Washington (17-3).

It will be Brunswick’s seventh state tournament trip but first since 2000. The Railroaders won the state championship once, in 1977.

Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News sportswriter. Write to him at mmathews@times-news.com

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