Westminster holds off N. Carroll, 70-66 Owls remain unbeaten vs. county competition

February 06, 1996|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN STAFF

The Westminster Owls continue to find the resources to remain unbeaten in their chase for the Carroll County crown.

Last night against North Carroll, it was the defensive presence of 6-foot-9 senior center Matt Laczkowski, clutch three-point shooting from Mike Recek during a run in the third quarter and just enough free throws in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to hold off the visiting Panthers, 70-66.

North Carroll, which trailed by as many as 13 early in the fourth quarter, made it interesting in the closing seconds when Jason Gelb cut the Owls' lead to 69-66 with a follow basket with 12 seconds left. North Carroll guard Joe Seguine then deflected a Westminster pass in the backcourt to teammate Ryan Bowles who passed it out to Ryan Appling beyond the three-point line. Appling's shot hit the front of the rim with Laczkowski grabbing the rebound with three seconds left.

"You have to give Westminster a lot of credit, they hit their shots and played some aggressive defense which took away some things from our offense," said North Carroll coach Troy Warehime. "There was three seconds left and we still had a chance, so I can't fault our effort, we just came up a little short."

It was the second straight county win for the Owls who improve to 6-10 overall and 3-0 in the county. On Friday, the Owls came away 85-64 winners at Liberty. North Carroll drops to 4-12 and 1-2 against the county.

Westminster took control with a big third quarter after trailing 32-26 at the half. Laczkowski was in foul trouble throughout the night, but still was a big factor with 14 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. He set the tone defensively for the Owls in the pivotal third quarter with three blocks.

Recek was doing the job at the other end with three three-pointers. Recek's last three came with 2:10 remaining in the quarter and gave the Owls a 46-37 lead. The lead grew to double digits when Aaron Krug (11 points) followed with another three.

An 8-0 run early in the fourth quarter brought the Panthers back. After Gelb hit a short jumper with 6:29 left to cut the lead to 54-44, the Panthers got six quick points on baskets from Brian Mayle (13 points), Justin Malbrough and Seguine, with two steals figuring in.

The Panthers were still within four at the 3:26 mark when Tony Reightler got tangled up with Billy Mays fighting for a rebound underneath the Panther basket. The referee whistled Reightler for a foul and then changed it to an intentional foul when the players didn't untangle. Warehime was called for a technical foul arguing the call and Laczkowski hit both technicals after Mays made one of his two, giving the Owls a 61-54 lead.

Seguine and Mayle hit three-pointers for North Carroll late and Gelb added a pair of baskets, but the Owls were 7-for-14 from the free-throw line in the final 1:35 to maintain the lead.

Justin Geiman added 14 for the Owls, including a 6-for-6 effort from the line in the third quarter.

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