Westminster rallies around Laczkowski Boys basketball

February 14, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

A lot of the little things have separated Westminster from the rest of the teams in Carroll County this season.

And one big reason -- senior Matt Laczkowski.

The 6-foot-8 center scored 28 points -- including five three-pointers -- and added eight rebounds, seven blocks and five steals to lead the visiting Owls past North Carroll, 72-54, last night.

The Owls (9-11) clinched the county title and can go 6-0 with a win over visiting Liberty on Friday.

Laczkowski, who saw limited playing time on varsity as a junior, has matured into a solid all-around player, and the Owls, with only one other senior on the roster, have rallied around him.

Solid interior defense and the ability to hit the three-pointer was the difference last night with the Owls taking control in the second quarter after North Carroll (5-14, 2-4) stayed even with them after one. Not surprisingly, it was Laczkowski who was in the middle of it all.

"When he's going to play like that, dominate defensively and then go to the other end and hit those threes. . ." Westminster coach Dave Byers began to say.

It means trouble for the opponent. It also opens things up for teammates.

Last night, sophomore Aaron Krug (13 points) stepped up in the pivotal second quarter, hitting a three early on, got to the free-throw line midway through and scored on two drives late to help give the Owls a 40-24 halftime lead.

Laczkowski also had nine in the quarter and put the game away early in the third quarter with consecutive three-pointers to give the Owls a 46-28 lead. Laczkowski knows when he's on from the outside there's a lot more for opponents to worry about.

"It's fun. And it makes it tough on them because they have to come outside and cover, which frees everyone else up," he said. "We take a lot of pride when we go up against the county and I want to go out on a high note."

North Carroll coach Troy Warehime, whose Panthers were coming off an impressive win Friday against Liberty, was expecting a much better game, but said his team grew impatient when it fell behind. Last Monday, the Panthers fell, 70-66, at Westminster.

"When they got the lead, we tried to come back and score too quickly, off the first or second pass. A little panic set in," Warehime said. "They didn't allow us to get the ball inside to Jason Gelb and our other options weren't working. The difference at Westminster and the difference tonight was three-point shooting."

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