McDonogh edges Severn for MSA B title

February 20, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

Donta Evans' underhanded scoop and lay-in with four seconds remaining lifted McDonogh over Severn School, 56-54, for the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference Championship at Goucher College last night.

It is the first boys basketball championship for the No. 16 Eagles (13-4) since 1986 and it kept No. 12 Severn (20-3) from repeating as B Conference champs.

"The last time we played them, I lost the ball in the same situation and we lost to them by two points," said Evans, who had a game-high 20 points.

"That was back in January and it's been on my mind ever since."

The play came after a McDonogh timeout with 17 seconds to go.

"Donta had the choice of a side-out play or take the shot himself and he did it," said Albie Swartz, McDonogh's fourth-year head coach.

With the crowd on its feet, Evans patiently held the ball at about half-court until eight seconds were on the clock. He then drove from right to left and into the paint, where he found the middle lane open and went airborne in a sweeping left-handed scoop that found the net.

Evans was fouled on the play and missed his only free-throw attempt of the night, but Severn, with no timeouts left, couldn't get the ball past midcourt.

"John Vereen couldn't have played defense any better on Evans on that play," said Severn coach Wayne Fowler.

"The guy [Evans] has 4.3 speed and gets 19 to 20 inches on his elevation. Evans is awesome. It [the shot] was like Joe Carter's World Series home run for Toronto. What are you gonna do?"

McDonogh led from a 2-0 start on an Evans jumper until 6:34 was left in the game. Severn took its first lead by 46-44 on two free throws by leading scorer Alhamisi Simms (18 points).

The Admirals had overcome deficits of 11 points (15-4) in the first period, 14 (30-16) in the second and 10 (34-24) early in the third before outscoring the Eagles, 16-10, to send the game into the final period with McDonogh leading 42-40.

McDonogh's clear advantage on the boards was a major factor in Severn's playing catch-up most of the night. The Eagles out-rebounded the Admirals 20-10 in the first half and 28-15 for the game with 6-foot-6 Bobby Sabelhaus grabbing a game-high six rebounds.

Sabelhaus (eight points) and the Layden brothers, Mike (10 points) and Tom (eight points), who had five rebounds each, combined for 16 of the team's total.

What was distressing for Severn was its lack of offensive rebounding.

"The last game we played them, we had them by eight points, but they were able to catch us because they got too many second shots," said Swartz.

"I wrote it in indelible ink on our ink board before tonight -- DON'T let Severn get offensive rebounds."

"We've won with our outside game all year, and tonight, Evans made the big play or we might be here talking about a championship," Fowler said.

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