Hammond overcomes Biggs' 38, edges Centennial Boys basketball

February 20, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Centennial's Damian Biggs had a half of a lifetime, but Hammond freshman Irving Conwell came through at crunch time in a 67-66 Howard County league victory over Centennial yesterday.

Biggs and his teammates came out fired up for the second half, and Biggs (38 points) excited the crowd with a 36-point second-half performance that included six three-point baskets. Centennial made nine three-pointers in that half.

But Conwell scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, when most of his team's key players were in foul trouble. His effort preserved a victory that seemed assured at halftime when the Bears led, 30-10.

"I knew I had to step up when most of our leaders were on the bench in foul trouble," Conwell said. "This was my best half of the season."

It was the Bears' seventh straight win, putting them in sole possession of first place, a game in front of Centennial (15-5, 8-4) with two league games remaining. Hammond's last county title was in 1983.

It was Hammond's second one-point win over Centennial. The Bears (12-7, 9-3) dominated the first half with pressure defense, and Centennial shot 5-for-25 from the floor.

Hammond's Kris Jefferson scored 12 and had eight rebounds in that half, but sat out the third quarter in foul trouble and scored only one point in the second half.

Hammond's Mike Matthews also scored 12 in the first half and finished with 16 points. He, too, sat out much of the third quarter. Point guard Kelvin Stevens was also on the bench with four fouls.

Centennial trailed 64-53 with 1:10 left to play, but went on a 13-3 run and nearly stole the game.

A three-pointer by Brian Hulka (nine points), a put-back off a rebound by Biggs and a three-pointer by Jones pulled the Eagles to within 65-61 with 21 seconds left.

But Conwell made two free throws, making it 67-61.

Hulka was fouled on a three-point miss, but made two of his three free-throw attempts, leaving Hammond a lead of 67-63.

Hammond's Cinque Crutchfield gave Centennial a chance by missing a one-and-one.

With four seconds left, Centennial's Kurt Weitzel made a three-pointer, making it 67-66. Then Hammond ran out the clock before passing the ball in bounds.

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