After earning some long-awaited respect from county 4A League teams following a 52-51 loss to Old Mill on Wednesday, the Chesapeake boys basketball team took its home floor Friday night against a Broadneck team that obviously reads the headlines.
The Cougars (4-8), who surprised the Patriots earlier in the week, found nothing up their sleeves Friday night as they were brought back down to earth by Broadneck, 71-58.
"They (Chesapeake) played Old Mill tough, so we knew they were tough," said veteran Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek. "The 4A League in Anne Arundel County is one of the strongest around, so there are no easy games. If you're not on the top of your game every time you take the floor, you can be beat. You just can't relax."
The first quarterof play belonged to Broadneck (11-2), but more specifically to Jeff Vincent. The junior shooting guard exploded for 15 first-period points, including a trio of three-pointers that helped the Bruins jump outto a 22-12 lead.
A bundle of backcourt fouls took both squads outof their offenses in the second quarter and tested their skills at the free-throw line. The Bruins seemed to enjoy the shootout from the stripe, as they connected on 10 of 11 shots. The Cougars, who have been experiencing difficulty at the line all season, managed to sink 5-of-9 from the line to go along with their 2-of-11 shot performance from the floor.
Broadneck, which was average from the field in the second period, exited at the half with a comfortable 39-22 edge.
Down by 17 at the start of the second half, the Cougars knew they had to make an immediate run at the Bruins to avoid a rout. Chesapeake's man-to-man defense frustrated the Bruins in the early moments of the period and forced them to take some low-percentage shots.
Chesapeake coach Tom Kraning said he was looking for someone to put the ball in the basket and make things happen, and he found that individual in junior guard Justin Hall. Hall netted two quick buckets to start the half and narrowed the margin to eight, 43-35, following his second three-point bomb.
"We were standing around a lot and not getting to any of the loose balls in the first half," said Kraning. "Broadneck was out-hustling us, and as always, they played with a lot of confidence."
Vincent answered for the Bruins, quieting the crowd with a three-pointer that returned the lead to 11. Chesapeake got as close as it was to get, 47-41, in the waning minutes of the third period when forward Mark Hall buried both ends of a one-and-one.
The visiting Bruins stepped up the pace a notch to start the final period and in doing that, left the Cougars panting. Kraning was hit with a technicalfoul for arguing a personal foul the opening seconds of the final period and put Matt Weimer on the line for four free-throw attempts. Weimer missed the first but sank the final three to give his squad a 54-43 lead, with the ball.
On the ensuing Broadneck possession, Vincent fired up a rainbowing three-pointer to give the Bruins a 13-point lead with 7 minutes, 30 seconds showing on the scoreboard. Vincent,who made good on six three-pointers, finished the day with a game-high 32 points.
Chris Rizzo sank two three-pointers in the waning moments of the contest, but it was too little, too late for Chesapeake.Rizzo finished the game with 14 points, one point less than team scoring leader Hall.