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McCONNELLSBURG - McConnellsburg gave future opponents lots to think about with the way it played offense Thursday night.

The Spartans shot 10-for-22 from behind the arc (45.5%) and 53.7 percent from the floor - which was helped by 15 layups - on the way to a convincing 75-50 defeat of Rockwood in a District 5 Class A first-round boys basketball playoff game.

Top-seeded McConnellsburg (20-3) will play in the district semifinals on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Everett vs. No. 4 Shade (14-5), which defeated Windber 62-54.

"I thought we had a lot of really good looks, and we got the ball into the post better tonight," Spartan coach Dane Pollock said. "We need to have that balance."

They also had balanced scoring - Ian Cheatle led with 18 points (on 7-for-10 shooting), Chase Novak had 16, Landon Richards 15 and Jake Boehme 12.

Rockets coach Jim Miller said, "We knew what to expect from them - they have a nice team. And we're pretty small, so when we play a bigger team, we're going to struggle."

That was evident with this significant statistic: Rockwood managed to grab only 10 rebounds, while McConnellsburg had 34. The Spartans didn't score much on offensive rebounds - two putbacks and a tip-in - but they generally allowed only one shot on defense.

"Except for that one possession when they seemed to get about three boards and then banked in a three," Pollock said.

But by that time, the game was well in hand, thanks to a dominating second quarter. McConnellsburg led 18-15 after one period, then out-scored the Rockets 20-9 in the second to take control for good.

Cheatle, who had seven points in that quarter, said, "The offense worked pretty well tonight, and that's how it goes when we move the ball around. And we had a few get in double figures, too."

The Spartans knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half (3 by Richards).

While Pollock was happy at one end of the floor, he felt his defense was not up to par.

"They kept doing those dribble hand-offs, and I thought we got a little impatient defending them at times," Pollock said.

Cheatle said, "Our defense wasn't that good. I think we took a couple of plays off and we didn't get a hand in their face like we should."

But it was enough to disrupt Rockwood's plan.

Miller said, "What we want to do is have our guards penetrate and then go to the basket or kick it out, but I thought McConnellsburg did a nice job of making it hard to penetrate. And we had that bad second quarter and just couldn't dig ourselves out of that grave."

The Rockets did come alive in the fourth quarter by scoring 19 points - 13 by Jesse Foy (19 points in the game) - but the Spartans answered with 24 to pad the lead.

Notes: Cheatle also led his team with 8 rebounds ... Cheatle and Boehme each had 4 assists and Richards led with 3 steals ... The Rockets shot 43.2 percent from the floor, including Foy's 7-for-11 effort ... The 75 points matched McConnellsburg's season high, which has now been reached 3 times.

McConnellsburg 75, Rockwood 25 

Rockwood (50)

Max Sechler 4-14 3-4 11, Jesse Foy 7-11 0-0 19, Nick Papson 3-7 0-2 7, Trey Emert 3-7 1-2 9, Hunter Shultz 2-4 0-1 4, Riley Simpson 0-1 0-0 0, Josh Knepper 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Calvi 0-0 0-0 0, Rhett Pletcher 0-0 0-0 0, Garrett Weaver 0-0 0-0 0, Talon Hall 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 19-44 4-9 50.

McConnellsburg (75)

Jake Boehme 5-11 2-4 12, Ryan Koontz 1-3 0-0 2, Landon Richards 5-10 2-2 15, Ian Cheatle 7-10 1-2 18, Chase Novak 6-14 0-0 16, Shawn Garlock 1-2 0-0 2, Quintin Miller 3-4 1-2 7, Ethan Barclay 0-0 1-2 1, Nic Culler 1-1 0-0 2, Patrick Keefer 0-0 0-0 0, Logan Little 0-0 0-0 0, Chance Hawbaker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 29-54 7-12 75.

Rockwood _ 15 _ 9 _ 7 _ 19 _ — _ 50

McConnellsburg _ 18 _ 20 _ 13 _ 24 _ — _ 75

3-point goals — Rock 8-16 (Foy 5, Emert 2, Papson), McC 10-22 (Cheatle 4, Richards 3, Novak 3).

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