Annapolis' win starts scramble for top seedings

February 24, 1993|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Staff Writer

In what was a playoff atmosphere at No. 7 Annapolis, the Panthers outlasted No. 15 Meade, 84-83, in overtime last night to send four teams into tomorrow's and Friday's final regular-season games with shots at the first two seeds in the Class 4A, Region IV playoffs.

By defeating Meade (17-4 overall) a second time this season and posting their fifth straight win, the Panthers (15-6) put themselves in position to take one of the top two seeds by winning at Severna Park (5-15) on Friday night.

The win enabled Annapolis to clinch the Friendship Division at 7-1 no matter what Meade (6-3) and Glen Burnie (5-3) do in their final game.

"But the most important thing is the playoffs, not the Friendly Division, or whatever," said Annapolis coach John Brady.

Before last night, Meade led Class 4A, Region IV with a 15-4 record and 114 playoff points. Annapolis is 14-5 with 109 points.

Meade plays host to 19th-ranked Glen Burnie at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

Glen Burnie and Broadneck, which visits Arundel on Friday, are the other two teams still in the hunt for the top two seeds in the playoffs that start Monday. Six teams qualify in each region and the top two seeds draw first-round byes and home-court advantage for the semifinals.

"We've got a shot and we're starting to win the close games," said Brady, whose Panthers were coming off a thrilling, 65-59 victory over Glen Burnie. "Cooper really picked up our offense for us and that was the difference at the end."

Teshawn Cooper, a 5-foot-7 sophomore point guard, scored only four points, but his ball-handling and two clutch plays in the final two minutes lifted the Panthers to victory.

Cooper missed a three-pointer, but retrieved his own rebound and hit a jumper from about 10 feet to tie it in overtime at 79. Then, Meade's Andre McNeil, whose put-back with two seconds left forced overtime as the Mustangs overcame a six-point deficit in the final 1:13, missed a shot, and Cooper was there again.

Cooper grabbed the rebound and fed Larry Brown, who scored and hit the foul shot for a three-point play. That gave Annapolis an 82-79 lead, and Wendell Williams' pull-up jumper with 26 seconds left iced it.

"I know it hurts, but we still have an awful lot to play for," said Meade coach Butch Young. "Everything is up for grabs the last game."

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