WESTMINSTER — One champ had it easy, the other, hard.
But when the curtain rangdown at East Middle School Thursday night, Lehigh remained the top dog in the Carroll County Men's Basketball League over-30 division.
It prevailed for the second straight year by pummeling the Travelers, 95-58, as guard Louis Thomas led all scorers with 38 points.
And, the unlimited division crown remained unsteadily on the head of Beacon Industries as it edged Wilson Sporting Goods, 72-71.
Beaconnow has won that division three consecutive years.
The two games were totally dissimilar.
The unlimited game was not decided until Beacon's Terry Barnes blocked Wilson guard Kevin Dorsey's jumper with10 seconds remaining to preserve his team's one-point margin.
Buton paper it never figured to be that close.
Wilson, third in its division during the regular season, was matched against what is arguably the best team in the men's league.
"They're a great team, withfive strong starters and players just as good on the bench," said Barry Wilson, who sponsors and plays forward for his team.
"But," hesaid, "I expected to beat them. I wouldn't have shown up if I didn't."
His strategy was to get the ball to his guards, brothers Kevin and Jim Dorsey, as much as possible.
"Our big men had to battle and stay even with their big men and let our guards do their thing," Wilson said.
They ultimately did, with Jim scoring a game-high 33 points and Kevin 26.
Beacon, on the other hand, depended on the inside game.
"We tried to move the ball around the inside to our big men," said Beacon coach Tom Magruder Sr.
Front-line players Tom Magruder Jr. and Barnes answered that call, with each scoring 17 points,mostly on strong inside moves.
The two 6-foot-5 forwards dominated the boards and the scoring in the first quarter as Beacon shot to an 18-9 lead.
The Dorseys picked up in the second quarter as Kevin hit a three-pointer and another basket in the closing minutes to bring Wilson to within 35-32 at halftime.
Beacon, even though dominating the boards, was an anemic 5-for-19 from field in the period.
Finally Kevin Dorsey, ice-cold most of the first half, hit on a drive down the lane to put Wilson up for the first time in the game, 46-45, late in the third quarter.
After Beacon went ahead again, Jim Dorsey, who befuddled Beacon most of the night with his darting, spinningmoves and drives to the basket, took over.
He scored 13 points, rallying Wilson to a 69-65 lead with only 37 seconds remaining.
ButBeacon clawed back, as Barnes got two crucial rebounds down the stretch and hit two foul shots with 20 seconds left to put his team on top, 72-71.
He then snuffed Dorsey's desperation jumper to clinch it.
The over-30 game was over long before its final moments.
Travelers, though, led after the first quarter as guard Kevin Knisley hitfor nine of his team-high 20 points.
But Thomas, who scored a mind-boggling 50 points in last year's championship game, got hot in thesecond quarter.
He had 12 points, mostly on long outside jumpers,and fellow guard Roy Aldersberger added five to pace a 26-11 spurt that carried their team to a 39-26 halftime lead.
Despite the duo'shot outside shooting, Travelers coach Dave Winkles stayed with his zone defense.
"We don't match up with them," he said. "We probably have the oldest team in the league. They're too quick for us to guardman-to-man."
With center Terry Cromwell strong on the boards and Aldersberger, who wound up with 20 points, and Thomas continuing to bomb away from the outside, the Lehigh margin mounted throughout the second half.
"We knew we had to play well and they had to be a little off to win," Winkles said of Lehigh, which had beaten his team twice during its undefeated regular season.
"But we didn't play that well and they were great. They deserved to win."
Lehigh coach BradGist agreed, saying his team had played its best game of the year.
"We played like we're capable of playing. The guys were really psyched up. They came to play tonight," he said.
Gist, whose players come primarily from Carroll and Frederick counties, added, "We're looking forward to next year."
The rest of his division, though, may not be.