The last time the Severn boys basketball team walked off as winners after playing Boys' Latin, the nation was celebrating its bicentennial.
Yesterday, however, it was the Admirals who finally had reason to celebrate as they defeated the visiting Gators from Baltimore 55-49, ending the 15-year string of losses.
"I knew we hadn't beat them since I've been coach, but I didn't think it was that long," said Severn's fifth-year coach Jim Doyle. "That's a long time."
Boys' Latin coach Hugh Gelston said he was aware of the streak before the game and later admitted that he had "a feeling" it would be snapped.
"I saw them (Severn) play Friday (against Archbishop Curley) and I really believe they are the best team in the league," said Gelston, after watching his Gators fall to 4-7 overall, 1-1 in the league. "They're young but experienced. They have three kids who can handle the ball well and I figured it would either be a close game or we would get blown out."
Severn (4-1 overall, 2-0 in the league) entered the game in the hope of running up and down the floor but was quickly lured into a half-court game by the zone-minded Gators. The impatient Admirals forced several shots and trailed at the end of the opening period, 11-8.
"We wanted to run but they didn't give us the opportunity to," said Doyle. "We have the guys who can hit from the perimeter, but they didn't hit the shots."
The Admirals found their range in the second quarter and took a 12-11 lead in the opening seconds following a baseline jumper by junior guard Jason Moran. Mike Fisher followed Moran's bomb with a pair of uncontested layups to put the hosts ahead, 16-11.
Severn sophomore starters Brad Fowler and Jake Mack closed out the first half scoring and provided the Admirals with a four-point cushion at the half, 26-22.
Moran started things off for the Admirals in the second half, scoring two quick buckets on a pair of fast break opportunities. Severn finished the third period strong and in command, 41-34.
"We just spread things out and created opportunities for ourselves," said Doyle. "Once we spread their zone out some, we were able to get some good penetration."
With a seven-point lead going into the final period, the Admirals needed to do only one thing to secure their second Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference victory -- hit their free throws.
And they did. The Admirals sunk a perfect 8-of-8 shots from the foul line, denying the Gators the right to claim yet another victory.
"They played smart and made all their foul shots when they needed them," conceded Gelston. "They deserved to win."
Fowler emerged as the Admirals' top scorer with 18 points, followed by Moran with nine and Mack, Fisher and Brendan Haggerty each with six. Also getting on the board for the victors were Dexter Walker and Chris Pitkin, with five points apiece, and Graydon Ripley scored two.