WARFORDSBURG - Southern Fulton came into Tuesday night's boys basketball game looking for revenge against Fannett-Metal, and it got just that.
Despite having only a six-point lead after the first quarter, the Indians dominated the middle two quarters to pick up a 67-52 victory, avenging an earlier season loss to the Tigers in Sideling Hill/Inter-County action.
"In the past three or four years, they have beat us hands down both times," Fannett-Metal coach Greg Best said. "They had a little revenge for wanting to beat us, and we wanted to come down and be competitive."
After leading 20-14 after the first period, Southern Fulton (13-7, 9-5 SHL, 10-4 ICC) built up a nine-point lead heading into the locker room. Fannett-Metal (11-9, 5-8 SHL, 7-6 ICC) struggled early in the third, allowing back-to-back turnovers. The Indians capitalized on both and started the second half on a 5-0 run.
Walker Bannister attempted to bring F-M back, scoring five consecutive points. He started with a three-point play on a layup and a charity shot, then he immediately earned a steal and a fastbreak layup.
But that was about the last momentum surge the Tigers got. The Indians proceeded to go on a 13-3 run to a 53-34 lead with two minutes left in the third.
Southern Fulton was seriously helped along by eight Fannett-Metal turnovers in the third period.
"Defensively, I thought we played well enough there in the middle quarters to really take control of the game," Southern Fulton coach Kent Hendershot said.
In the final quarter, things started to get really heated. The Tigers made it to the line for 11 shots, and they sunk 10 of them.
Fannett-Metal's defense also stepped up in a big way in the last eight minutes. The Tigers created 19 turnovers through the entire game - nine in the fourth.
"We started to seem to get more in the passing lanes," Best said. "We didn't quit, and we were creating some turnovers and scored off those. We made the score very respectable, and I thought we played competitively."
Despite fouling out with 4:50 left, Fannett-Metal's Trevor Reisinger was the only player on either team with a double-double. He scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Southern Fulton's Nick Smartt once again had a game-high 26 points. He also led the Indians with three steals and added three assists.
"I pretty much just let my teammates bring me into it," Smartt said. "I find that's the easier way to play it. They find me the open shots, and I just gotta knock 'em down."
Hendershot said, "I think he's really become more patient as the season has gone on in letting the game come to him, and he really did that tonight. When he got an open shot, he was able to get it and took the ball hard to the hole. That's what we need him to do."
Although it was a convincing victory in the Indians' favor, Hendershot was concerned with his team's lack of consistency with just one game remaining before the playoffs.
"We did not play well in the fourth quarter," he said. "I think mentally we just kind of lost it and thought we had it wrapped up. But that's exactly how you let good teams back in games. Luckily tonight, it didn't hurt us, so hopefully we learned that lesson."
Best also remains concerned about the Tigers' steady play, especially offensively. Although Jordan Hurrell and Bannister were in both in double figures with 17 and 13 points, respectively, Fannett-Metal managed only one bench point.
"Defensively, if we play with a lot of intensity and pride, we'll be all right, but offensively, we need to become more consistent," Best said. "We need some guys coming off the bench scoring a couple points like we had at the beginning of the season."
Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or email@example.com.
Southern Fulton 67
Ryan Snyder 0 0-2 0, Jordan Hurrell 5 6-8 17, Walker Bannister 5 2-2 13, Bryce Chilcote 3 2-2 8, Trevor Reisinger 4 5-7 13, Dan Peppernick 0 0-0 0, Dylan Bradley 0 0-0 0, Sam Turner 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 16-23 52.
Nick Smartt 9 4-6 26, Connor Litton 6 1-3 13, Brady Golden 2 0-0 4, Jake Ashkettle 3 5-8 11, Jordan Clingerman 3 1-2 7, Noah Smartt 2 0-4 4, Alex Seburn 0 0-0 0, Austin Mellott 1 0-0 2, Dristin Mellott 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 11-23 67.
Fannett-Metal 14 12 10 16 - 52
So. Fulton 20 15 22 10 - 67
3-point shots - FM 2 (Hurrell, Bannister); SF 4 (Ni.Smartt 4). Shooting - FM 17-48 (35.4%); SF 26-50 (52%). Rebounds - FM 29 (Reisinger 11); SF 25 (Seburn 8). Assists - FM 4 (Hurrell 4); SF 13 (Ni.Smartt, Litton, Ashkettle). Steals - FM 6 (Bannister 4); SF 5 (Ni.Smartt 3). Turnovers - FM 18; SF 19. Blocked shots - FM 1 (Snyder); FR 1 (Clingerman). Fouled out - Chilcote, Reisinger; Clingerman, No.Smartt.
JV: Southern Fulton 34, Fannett-Metal 20. Trent Rider led the Indians with 17 points; Dan Peppernick paced the Tigers with 7.
Next game: FM: Wednesday, at Tussey Mountain, 7:30 ... SF: Wednesday, at Berkeley Springs, 7:30.