No. 3 Annapolis makes quick work of No. 9 Glen Burnie, 97-62

February 24, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen in a big game is for a team to be too high, but that didn't apply to the Annapolis Panthers last night.

Fired-up, third-ranked Annapolis (18-2) applied the pressure early, raced to a 25-9 first-quarter lead and 52-25 halftime lead and coasted to a 97-62 victory over No. 9 Glen Burnie (17-4).

The victory all but clinched the Panthers the top seed and home-court advantage in next week's Class 4A East Region playoffs.

Annapolis needs only a win at Chesapeake (3-16) tomorrow to seal it.

The win also avenged a 92-81 loss at Glen Burnie in December, and it was obvious from the first few minutes that Annapolis had something to prove.

"It was a big game. Our kids played for Annapolis pride, and it just goes to show that emotion does have an important place in sports,"said Annapolis coach John Brady, whose team bolted out of the gate after junior Len Barber sang the national anthem.

Annapolis turned the Gophers' poor shooting night (7-for-31 from field at the half, 24-for-70 total) into a succession of uncontested layups.

The Panthers kept up the defensive heat and were balanced offensively, with 12 players scoring.

They hit 20 of 31 (65 percent) from the field in the first half and 39 of 71 (55 percent) for the game.

"Let me tell you something, we beat a very good team tonight, and I didn't expect anything like the way it turned out," Brady said.

After a steal and layup by Ronnie Johnson (game-high 20 points, three steals and five rebounds) followed by a layup from Rico Lee (eight points, two steals, two rebounds) to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead, the visiting Gophers tied it at four.

That was to be the last time a very good Glen Burnie team would be in the game, as the Panthers went on a 15-0 run with Kelsey Watkins (11 points) hitting a three-pointer, Larry Brown (seven points, six rebounds) tossing in four, Ronnie Johnson, Lewis Day (16 points, three three-pointers, three rebounds) and Rodney Watts (10 points, five rebounds, two steals) scoring the other eight.

Annapolis didn't let up in the second period, building a 52-25 lead at halftime.

Juan "J. J." Johnson (four points, nine assists, three steals, one rebound and a blocked shot) shared point guard with Teshawn Cooper (four points, three assists, two rebounds).

By the end of the third quarter, Annapolis held a 36-point lead at 74-38 and pushed it up to 42 points twice in the final period.

Andre Brya (nine rebounds) was the only Gopher in double figures, with 15 points. Marquise Farmer scored eight to go with eight rebounds.

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