Fallston gets off to fast start, holds on to beat Bel Air, 49-48

February 03, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Fallston's 49-48 victory last night came down to two successful free throws by Mark Torba with 25 seconds left, but for visiting Bel Air, the difference was a poor first quarter, especially the first three minutes.

During that start, the Bobcats (7-8, 5-4) did not get off a shot and had four turnovers. At the other end, Fallston (9-7, 6-3) got two baskets and two free throws for a 6-0 lead.

"We were tight at the beginning," Bel Air coach Bill Georg said of the Harford County League game between the teams tied for third place, "and you could tell because the players didn't say a word in the dressing room. I just hoped they [Fallston] didn't blow it open." They didn't.

Despite going scoreless for the last 3:30 of the quarter, Bel Air managed to rally for its only tie of the game at 15 on two foul shots by David Grimm two minutes into the second quarter.

Kernan Kelly put Fallston ahead to stay, making four straight free throws in the next minute. The largest margin was 10 points (twice), before Bel Air climbed back.

Down 41-35 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Bobcats used three foul shots, and a basket by Victor Smith after a steal and feed by Mason McGlothan, to draw to 41-40 at 3:40.

The margin went back to five, but Smith hit four successive free throws for 45-44.

A put-back by Dave Adam off a missed foul shot made it 47-44, before Bel Air's Jeff Tracey drove for a basket, then missed what would have been a game-tying free throw.

After Torba's two free throws -- he had done the same thing to ensure a win over Aberdeen last month -- teammate Adam missed the front end of a one-and-one after grabbing a rebound off a missed Bel Air shot, but it was of no consequence as the home team let McGlothan drive for an uncontested layup in the final seconds.

"Their inside people hurt us, because at least three times they rebounded their missed free throws," Georg said. As it turned out, the put-back by Tracey for 47-44 with 1:40 left was critical.

Where Fallston had shown zone defense in the first meeting two weeks ago (a 61-59 Bel Air victory), it played man-to-man this time. Where Smith had 22 points around the key in the other game, Nick Johnson effectively shut him down, limiting him to two-for-nine shooting from the field.

"They handle the ball well and are not in a hurry, so we had to do something to speed them up, Fallston coach Robin Hood said of the defensive change.

"We expected the defense. We got the shots; we just didn't make them," Georg said.

Johnson's 12 points topped three Fallston scorers in double figures, and Tracey had 15 for Bel Air.

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