North County surprises Annapolis, 82-68 Knights go to OT for first win ever against Panthers

February 01, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Coach Brad Wilson called it "a big step," and senior forward Reese Bowie said his team "got over the hump."

Six-year-old North County stunned No. 4 Annapolis, 82-68, in overtime last night to post easily the biggest win in the school's short basketball history. The Knights lost in overtime at Annapolis last year and that was the closest they had come to beating the Panthers, who have long been a county power.

"North County played inspired and deserved to win," said Annapolis coach John Brady. "We made too many bad decisions and didn't look for our best player down the stretch."

Brady was referring to the Panthers not finding 6-foot-7 junior center Boo Diggs, who took 30 points into the extra period and finished with game-high totals of 34 points and 21 rebounds.

North County (10-6), which led 34-30 at the half, just missed winning in regulation, and didn't let the frustration carry over into overtime. The Knights erupted for 18 points to five by Annapolis (13-3).

"We knew it was ours. We went into overtime still confident we would get it done," said Bowie, who had a team-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds, two blocks and five steals. "We've been in that kind of situation many times before and it's a relief to take one like that."

North County's Cornelius Burley (22 points, five assists) missed a shot from the top of the key just before the buzzer that left the teams tied at 64 in regulation. Burley, who Wilson said has "become our floor leader," atoned by starting the overtime run with two free throws to make it 66-64.

Burley went on to sink five of six, with the team 10-for-14 in the extra four minutes.

Diggs posted up to tie it at 66, but the junior fouled Bowie, who sank both free throws to send the Knights on their way at 68-66.

Derek Booth, who had three of the team's seven three-pointers, sank two threes in a row and it was 74-66 with only two minutes left.

"We were prepared for the overtime because we've been there before and lost too many tough ones," said Richard Allen, who scored three of his 11 points in overtime. Allen also had 10 rebounds.

Wilson praised his defense for keeping the pressure on the Panthers and helping limit Diggs in overtime. Diggs had scored 10 of his points in the final period, with his put-back tying the game at 64 with seven seconds remaining.

"We had several players step up, especially the seniors like Reese and Cornelius, and they've worked so hard for four years to take a big step like this," said Wilson, whose team had its first winning season (12-10) last year.

Wilson said just a couple weeks ago after his Knights had lost a fifth game in the final moments, that "down the road, it will help us and we will start winning the close ones."

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