Atholton misses free throws, loses title game, 69-62

January 01, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Host Atholton lost the boys championship game of the Central Maryland Basketball Tournament to the Magruder Colonels, 69-62, yesterday because of something the Raiders usually do well.

"We're shooting over 70 percent at the free-throw line as a team this season," Atholton coach Jim Albert said. "But we didn't shoot well in the fourth quarter."

Atholton staged a 17-2 run to start the fourth quarter, rallying from a 58-39 deficit after three quarters to trail 60-56 with 3:24 left in the game.

But five times in the final quarter Atholton made only one of two free throws and another time missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Raiders were 7-for-14 for the quarter and 11-for-22 for the game.

Magruder, of Montgomery County, made all four of its free throws in the final minute to hold off the Raiders.

In the girls championship game, Middletown downed Atholton, 60-35. In the boys consolation game, Wilde Lake won its first game of the season, downing Sherwood, 83-65. In the girls consolation, Damascus beat Quince Orchard, 44-34.

In the boys championship game, a defensive change led to Atholton's fourth-quarter rally. The Raiders switched from a 2-3 zone to a pressure man-for-man, and it created several Magruder turnovers.

"How well we take care of the ball determines whether or not we win," Magruder coach Dan Harwood said. His team is 8-0, the fastest start in school history.

Atholton (5-2) started with the zone because Albert thought Magruder was a little quicker overall, and he wanted to stop the penetration scoring of Alex McCrimmon, who scored 18 points and was voted the tournament's MVP. McCrimmon also had four assists and four steals.

It was McCrimmon who scored Magruder's only points during the 17-2 run. And it was McCrimmon who took charge when Atholton cut the lead to 60-56.

The senior forward scored all of Magruder's points on a 5-1 run that gave the Colonels a 65-57 cushion.

Albert didn't count on Magruder's hitting from three-point range, but the Colonels made two three-pointers in the second period ** and two more in the third period. Vaughan Matthews made three of the four and was Magruder's second-leading scorer with 14 points.

Magruder started slowly, falling behind by as many as nine points before trailing Atholton 20-16 after the first quarter. The Colonels had eight turnovers that period.

But Magruder's defense held Atholton to nine points in the second quarter and created offensive opportunities that led to a 34-29 Magruder halftime lead.

Magruder produced an even more impressive third period by outscoring Atholton 24-10.

Forward Tony Stewart with 16 points, and point guard Brian Benden with 14, led Atholton in scoring.

In the girls championship, Middletown (7-0) built a 20-2 first-quarter advantage and cruised over Atholton (4-3).

Alex Stephens scored 16 and Tina Kelly added 12 for Middletown. Lea Nichols paced the Raiders with 12 and Stephanie Van Deusen added eight.

Wilde Lake (1-5) erased a one-point halftime deficit and outscored Sherwood 47-28 in the second half for a 83-65 win in the boys consolation game. Seth Willingham and Sule Carpenter each scored 19 to lead the Wildecats.

jTC

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