With first place in the division sewed up, the Flying Admirals foundenough energy with just six players to end their season with an exclamation point.
Yesterday, in its regular-season finale, the Admirals -- mostly Severna Park and Severn high school students -- used their superior height inside to upend the Freetown Posse, 53-36, in a Boys Summer League Basketball matchup at Lake Waterford Park in Pasadena.
Not only the victors were few in number; Freetown, which carries 11 players on its regular roster, managed to keep the majority of thecontest relatively close despite competing with just five players, all under 6 feet tall.
"We could have definitely used our big men tonight," said Joe Brown, Freetown's head coach. "They just had too much height inside."
Gerald Cager (6-foot-4) led the winners with a game-high 16 points, most off offensive rebounds and short jumpers inthe lane. Severna Park High teammate Scott Brown (6-foot-4) tallied 11 points (all in the second half), while Mount St. Joseph junior varsity guard Tony Curro added eight.
"They (Freetown) have a lot of quick players on that team. If they had a big man in there, it could have really been tough," said Flying Admirals coach Joe Moran, who shares coaching duties with son Darrick.
The Admirals (8-1) jumped out to an 18-10 lead with five minutes left in the first half on a follow-up basket by Chad Moran. Freetown than ran off five straight points on a Ray Harrod free throw, a Roland Gross (12 points) layup off apicture-perfect bounce pass from Dennis White and a tip-in by MarvinBrown (10 points).
Max Kruger and Curro buried consecutive jumpers to break the Posse's spell, before Marvin Brown's foul shot made the score 22-16 at intermission.
The Admirals went on a 12-4 tear atthe start of the second half, with Cager pounding the boards for sixduring the spree.
A twisting layup by Gross with less than four minutes left brought the Posse to within 10, at 45-35. But the Admirals then went on a 8-1 run, with Scott Brown ending the game with a two-handed dunk.
"We were 3-0 at the beginning of the season, and nowwere 4-4," said a disappointed Marvin Brown, a reserve guard on lastseason's Annapolis High's' state semifinalists. "We started out really good, then people had to start missing games because of work. But that's OK, I think we're going to be ready for the tournament (Aug 5-7). I think we'll last for a while, if everyone comes back."
Joe Moran said, "I think we had a very good regular season. I don't think the kids have been looking past anyone. They didn't really start to talk about the tournament until tonight. It's hard to say what'll happen then, but I think we'll do all right."