The county's best high school seniors gave an enthusiastic crowd itsmoney's worth in yesterday's fourth annual Capital-Gazette Newspapers, Rep. Tom McMillen All-Star Basketball Classic at Annapolis High School.
Acrobatic slam-dunks and a plethora of three-pointers were the norm in the boys' contest, as Meade's Brian Parker tipped in the game-winner at the buzzer to give the North a thrilling 109-107 victory over the South.
Seven lead changes and six ties occurred during the fourth quarter, as the South's all-county forward, Rich Riffle (Severna Park), tied the game for the last time at 107-all with 12 seconds left.
The South squad started the fourth quarter down by 10, but reeled off 10 unanswered points to knot the score at 82, with 8:25 remaining. Broadneck's Jeff Vincent (18 points and six rebounds) drilled two three-pointers during the stretch, while the team's most valuable player, RobWooster (Annapolis), converted back-to-back layups. Wooster, the 6-5Anne Arundel County Sun Player of the Year, finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
The North's Robby Somerville (Meade) led all scorers with 28 points, including four rim-rattling slam-dunks. The 6-2 forward also grabbed nine rebounds and eight steals.
"I wasn't surprised with the way Robby played," said winning coach Tom Kraning of Chesapeake. "Before we even practiced together, the kids were telling me what he was capable of, and it showed today."
Parker added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the victors, while Old Mill guard Erik Sheppard rang up 13 points and dished off seven assists.
Patriot teammate Ravon Austin and Northeast guard Gene Pleyo added 12 points each.
Edmund Hicks (South River) chipped in with 17 points and 15 rebounds for the losers, while Seahawk teammate Al Lee had 14. Annapolis guard Marvin Brown contributed 11 points, seven boards and four assists, and Riffle tallied 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
The North's victory evened the series at two games each.
In girl's action, the South took its fourth consecutive win over the North by an 83-61 count.
The winners, sparked by a combined St. Mary's/Broadneck starting lineup, jumped out to a 20-16 first-quarter lead. St. Mary's teammates Amelia Mikula (nine points and nine rebounds) and Randall Goldsborough (the South's most valuable player with 14 points, five steals and three assists) netted five points each, while Southern guard Talaya Barnett and Broadneck forward Jen Chapman added four points each during the period.
The North held a 36-34 halftime advantage, thanks in part to MVP Renita Johnson's 12 first-half points.
The South went on a 26-8, third-period tear to put the game out of reach by the end of the period, 60-44.
In the County Special Olympics Exhibition game, Ivan Heppding (eight points) and Joe West combined for 12points in a 16-14 triumph. Joe Howe's 10 points paced the South.