Howard upset denies Hammond sole possession of title, 67-63 @ Boys basketball

February 26, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Howard has been unpredictable all season, upsetting several of the league's top teams and losing to some of its weakest teams.

But the Lions (9-13, 6-8) lived up to their giant-killer reputation yesterday, the final day of the league season, by upsetting visiting Hammond, 67-63, and throwing the county title into a two-way tie.

Hammond's loss, combined with Centennial's 72-65 win over Glenelg yesterday, created the tie -- the county's first since 1972, when Atholton and Mount Hebron shared the title.

A 21-point advantage at the foul line and strong rebounding were the tools Howard used to upset Hammond (13-8, 10-4), which has a 4-7 road record and a 9-1 home record.

The Lions had nothing to play for but pride, as they already were eliminated from playoff contention.

A Hammond victory not only would have meant an outright county title for the Bears, but a strong possibility of the No. 1 seed in the Class 2A Region II playoffs that begin Monday.

Now the best Hammond can hope for is a No. 2 seed depending on the outcomes of today's games involving Loch Raven and Overlea.

Hammond hit five of its first eight shots, scored the game's first 11 points and appeared on its way to a rout. But the Bears missed their next eight shots and let Howard climb back into it. Howard trailed 16-8 after one quarter.

The scoring pace quickened in the second quarter, but Hammond maintained control, leading 39-30 at halftime.

Howard seniors Jeremy Milam (16 points) and Jamaal Tyler (16 points) led a second-half Howard comeback. Tyler's 16-point total was his career high, as he went 9-for-12 from the foul line.

Howard was 28-for-37 at the foul line, and Hammond shot 7-for-8.

Hammond coach Jack Burke wasn't pleased that his team didn't go to the line more often.

"Every game that we've lost this season the other team has gone to the line at least 25 times more than we have," Burke said. "They beat us up physically and we only shot eight free throws?"

Howard made 17 turnovers but offset them with 39 rebounds, 24 of those on the defensive boards.

The Lions had three players reach double figures in rebounds -- Milam (10), Javier Michaux (10) and Devon Montoute (11).

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