Fallston overmatched Harford Tech with an outside scoring threat to complement its inside strength and breezed to a 100-58 win in the first round of the Class 1A, Region III state playoffs last night.
Fallston (12-11), which will play at Perryville (13-5) tomorrow night, gave Tech an indication of what was in store when it hit its first four shots. After three minutes, the Cougars had gone inside for five baskets, four by Dave Adam, and held a 10-2 lead.
The visitors, giving away height at every position, had several scoring flurries in the first 10 minutes and closed to within 27-22.
It got no closer. Fallston guard Mark Torba made his second straight three-pointer, went inside to Rob Myers for two baskets and whenJud Ryan tipped in a missed shot the lead was 36-24 and growing.
A buzzer-beating three-point shot by Brad Thomas made it 76-46 at the end of the third quarter, and Rick Shearer's three-pointer in the game's final seconds made it 100. It was Fallston's highest point total of the season.
"We knew going in they only had six players, although they had brought up three from the JV," winning coach Robin Hood said, "so we knew we could wear them down by platooning our 12.
"Besides, they had no size inside and we had six players we could go to. They sagged inside, and Torba hit the threes. They go out to get him, and he pushed it back inside."
Fallston finished with six scorers in double figures, including three non-starters. Torba hit three three-pointers and scored a team-high 17 points.
"He's still streaky, but when he's on, it really opens up things," Hood said.
Tech (6-15) was led by Tykell Johns, its lone senior. The slender 6-foot-2 left-hander finished with 27 points.
"This team has come a long way from December," coach Jules Bernstein said. "Tykell started as an individual but worked into a team player. His best game may have been against North Harford when we won and he got just 10 points.
"We lost our first 11 games, then went 6-3 the rest of the way. That's what got us here," Bernstein said. "We didn't show much team effort on offense this time, so I'm disappointed we didn't go out better, but they've done a great job."