Neal uses start to help Aberdeen rout poor-shooting N. Harford, 84-54

January 18, 1996|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Aberdeen, bigger and quicker, got the upper hand on homestanding North Harford when it limited the Hawks to just one point in the first seven minutes of the second quarter, and went on to an 84-54 Harford County League victory last night.

Most of the problems for North Harford (5-3, 2-1) were magnified during two different stretches of the third quarter. Down 10 at the half, the Hawks were still there at 38-28, when, during a two-minute stretch, they missed four shots from the field, two free throws and committed four turnovers. Over the same span, No. 17 Aberdeen (7-2, 1-1) was going scoreless.

In one later flurry, scoring leaders Brock Jourdan and Ryan Renfrow, plus starter Steve Shaw, missed successive chances with reverse layups. The score at that point was 50-37, and a basket might have provided some spark for the host Hawks.

Visiting coach Ron Petrey rewarded center Gabe Neal with a rare start after a series of good practices, and the 6-foot-7 senior responded with 18 points, and presenting an intimidating force under the basket.

With the game turning into a rout in the last quarter, Petrey had a chance to look at some players that had not had much previous playing time and at the end, 11 of them scored. Todd Collins and Tommie Mims backed Neal with 13 points each.

North Harford's woes were reflected in the subpar shooting by Renfrow and Jourdan, each of whom was well under his season percentage of better than 50 per cent. Renfrow, the leading scorer in the county with a 21.1 average, was restricted to 13 points.

This total included four baskets against a strong defensive job by Aberdeen senior Mark Stevens. Renfrow, backed by the county's top three-point percentage (12-for-20), made only one of a half-dozen chances.

Jourdan, a 13-point scorer on the season, picked up Renfrow's slack, working inside and out for 23 points.

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