Joppatowne holds off North Harford, 47-40

February 10, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Going into last night's game at Joppatowne, Mariners coach Mike Bauer didn't want to let North Harford's senior standouts Damon Roberts and Chris Mills beat his team.

As it turned out, they didn't, but it took the home team until the waning moments to put away the Hawks, 47-40, in a Harford County League game.

A combination of Joppatowne defense and some self-destruction on offense limited North Harford to four points in the last quarter.

North Harford (6-11, 3-8) was within 42-40 going to the last three minutes but went scoreless the rest of the way, while Joppatowne (8-8, 5-6) opened some daylight with a baseline drive by Rodney Briscoe at 1:30, and Chuck Hunter's free throw 20 seconds later made it 45-40.

The visitors went to three-point range, but the shots did not fall.

Joppatowne, which earlier had a four-game winning streak, and has won its past two, jumped ahead 6-0, but after North Harford closed to 6-4, no more than four points separated the two until Hunter's free throw.

Briscoe and Jermaine Head (third in county scoring at 18.0 a game) dominated play for the winners, getting 20 and 18 points, respectively. Chris Gephardt helped with three early baskets, but yielded to Mike Harris a bulky defensive force.

"Harris would normally start, but even though he had an excused absence from a Monday practice, I have a rule that a miss and the player doesn't start," Bauer said.

"Up there [a 49-43 Joppatowne win last month], he disrupted Roberts and he did it again here when I got him in the game. He's a defensive factor. We were also concerned about Mills because he can get hot from the outside."

This time, John Stearns led North Harford with 13 points, followed by a foul-hindered and Harris-harassed Roberts with 12, all but four coming in the first half. Mills followed with 11.

Bauer, however, was disappointed in his team's inability to put North Harford away during the last 5:47 of the second quarter, when Roberts, a 13-point scorer and the metro area's third-leading rebounder at 12.8 a game, sat down with three fouls.

As for the visitors, who saw a game get away in the last two minutes for the fourth time this season, coach Spike Griffith said, "We played pretty well, but after it was 42-40, we couldn't get the shots to fall, and then there were some ill-advised decisions.

"It came down to the fact we could not stop the baseline drive."

Briscoe scored three times on the move in the last quarter, and each time the maneuver opened a four-point lead.

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