ABERDEEN -- It's not going to be easy to dislodge Aberdeen High from the top perch in Harford County basketball.
The No. 14 Eagles are small, "so we have to go right after people," said coach Ron Petry.
And that's what they did last night to romp past their closest competition in the county, C. Milton Wright, 62-40, before a near-capacity crowd at the Aberdeen gym.
Aberdeen (12-2, 6-0) had difficulty with the Mustangs for a half, but its swarming press in the third quarter paid off as C. Milton Wright committed nine turnovers and scored only six points in the period.
Ahead 22-18 at the half, the Eagles led by as many as 16 near the end of the third quarter and the Mustangs never got closer than eight points the rest of the night.
"We've been lucky to have good third quarters," said Petry. "I guess it takes a while for us to wear some people down. We didn't want to play this game without pressure. In fact, we have to play that way."
Mustangs coach George Constantine agreed that the defense was a factor at the key stage of the game, but said his team's poor shooting didn't help either.
"We didn't convert a couple early and after that we had a terrible dry spell, even at the free-throw line. They're too good a team to have too many empty trips," said Constantine.
Aberdeen scored the first six points of the second half, four by point guard Demetrious Harris, and was off to the races. The Mustangs (10-3, 4-2) managed only one basket until the final minute of the third period.
The only Harford County team to keep Aberdeen under a 10-point victory margin has been Havre de Grace. The Eagles' only losses have been to Lake Clifton and Episcopal (Pa.) Academy.
Forward William Griffin played a splendid all-around game for Aberdeen with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.