Northeast wasn't supposed to be in the championship game of last night's Bob Pascal Holiday Tournament. And the Eagles surely weren't expected to win it.
"We knew we were the underdog coming in, with a 2-4 record and one returning player in our system," said coach John Barbour. "I was hoping to win one game."
His team did better than that. Af- Pascal tournament
ter upsetting host Severna Park in the opening round, Northeast used four combination defenses and some long-range shooting to defeat Chesapeake, 44-36, in the final last night. The title was Northeast's third since 1989.
Seven of the Eagles' 12 field goals were three-point shots, including one from senior guard Ed Nalley that accounted for all of their scoring in the first quarter.
Chesapeake led 15-5, in the second quarter after Rob Berg's follow, but the Eagles reeled off the last 13 points of the half. Nalley hit back-to-back three-pointers, Qian Rucks scored inside, Mike Eaton made a three-pointer and Nalley tipped in a miss.
"We played maybe the best half of defense we've played at Northeast, holding a team like Chesapeake to 15 points in one half," Barbour said.
The Cougars (4-2) led once in the third quarter, 24-23, on two free throws by Zach Barbour. But Northeast's Rich Heffner made two three-pointers in the last 2:32, and the Eagles used five late free throws from Nalley and two from Eaton to stay on top.
Nalley led all scorers with 24. Ken Findley had 16 points for Chesapeake.
In the consolation game, defending tournament champion Severna Park (4-2) received a game-high 26 points from sophomore forward Bakari Ward in defeating North County, 64-55. Junior guard Teon Carter led the Knights (0-8) with 20 points.
A layup from North County's Lou Brown tied the score 40-40 late in the third quarter, and Carter's basket inside had the Knights (0-8) trailing 50-49 with 5:40 remaining in the game. But Severna Park held on and extended North County's losing streak to 34 games.