Senior Damion Day controlled the inside and sophomore Boo Diggs the outside as No. 13 Annapolis dealt defending 4A East Region champion Glen Burnie a 71-58 defeat last night.
Day scored six points in each of the first two periods, and Diggs played a sterling defensive game on the county's leading scorer.
"Damion came out fast and got us going. He's constantly improving inside and has made some important baskets for us the last few games," said Annapolis coach John Brady.
Day, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, said, "It was my best game of the season so far. They got it down low to me and I just stepped back and hit 'em."
The 6-foot-7 Diggs held Desmond Dailey, the Gophers' 6-2 junior forward who came in averaging 22.8 points, to four points in the first half and 13 for the game.
"Boo did a tremendous job on Dailey, who is a major-league offensive player," said Brady. "He played him most of the night with little rest and that's saying something when you are going against a great athlete like Dailey."
Ronnie Johnson of Annapolis led his team with 17 points. Damon Flamer led the Gophers with 14 points and seven rebounds.
The host Panthers (14-4) pulled away in the final period, boosting a five-point lead to an 11-point lead at 60-49 with about three minutes left.
There were six ties in the first half and Glen Burnie took the lead twice in the second period (18-16 and 24-22) but would never forge ahead again.
While Diggs (eight boards and two blocks) contained Dailey's offensive output, Dailey helped keep his team in the game by latching onto 13 rebounds.
With only four regular-season games left, Annapolis has all but clinched one of the top four seeds in the region while the Gophers (9-9) are fighting for one of the final two spots. North County and Old Mill are in the same boat as Glen Burnie.
"We still have a chance, and our last game at home [Feb. 24] with Old Mill could decide it," said Gopher coach Terry Bogle. "I can't knock the effort of our kids, but we just can't seem to get over the hump."
While the Panthers and Gophers tied in total rebounds (30 each) for the game, Annapolis took control of the boards in the final period. The Gophers had closed to 48-45 at the end of the third period.
"I thought they killed us on the boards in that last period," said Bogle.