Chesapeake clinches North championship 51-37 victory puts Cougars in county title contest

February 19, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

When the final buzzer sounded last night and the Chesapeake Cougars had clinched the first boys basketball championship of any kind in the 20-year history of the school with a 51-37 victory over Old Mill, many people expected some kind of celebration on the floor.

But it didn't happen.

"We didn't go wild or anything like that because we want more out of the season -- like the county championship," said junior Chesapeake forward Ryan Plews after the Cougars had wrapped up the Anne Arundel County North Division title with the impressive win at Old Mill. "I feel like a lot of people took us for granted at the start of the season. They didn't believe we'd be here with a division title at the end."

Chesapeake (11-10 overall, 8-1 in the North Division) now advances to the county championship game 5 p.m. Tuesday vs. South champ Broadneck at Arundel High.

Plews and Chesapeake are also closing in on the first winning boys basketball season in school history. They will be heavily favored to beat Northeast in the regular-season finale Friday night to take a 12-10 record into the county title game.

The 6-foot-2 Plews joined with 6-3 junior forward Ray Wagner last night to lead Chesapeake past Old Mill (8-13, 6-3).

Plews and Wagner were strong inside, and Wagner even went outside in the fourth quarter to hit two three-pointers. Wagner finished with a game-high 14 points and Plews had 13.

Plews scored nine in the first half when the Cougars totally dominated the game offensively and defensively to build a 30-12 lead by halftime.

"We got a lot of easy baskets in the first half because of our pressure defense," said Wagner, who leads Chesapeake with 17.5 points and nine rebounds a game. "I can't believe we did it [won North title]. It feels great. I didn't think I played that well but I did hit those two threes."

Chesapeake coach John Spinnenweber also praised senior point guard L. T. Jacobs for "playing a major role in the win."

"L.T. ran our offense and got the ball inside all night long," said Spinnenweber. "And Jason Gogolinski and Sharif Holder were exceptional on defense. I told the kids to come out and play as hard as they could from the start and have fun. We'd been playing hard but not having fun."

Old Mill, which was led by Brock Brooks' 11 points and 10 by Jeff Miller, never recovered from the poor start.

"We came out flat," said Old Mill coach Paul Bunting. "I'm not quite sure why. But give Chesapeake credit for being more aggressive and playing well."

John Carroll 52, Park 42: Junior center Richard Grayson had 15 points and 11 rebounds as the eighth-seeded and host Patrots )) (6-16) defeated the Bruins in a first round game of the MIAA B Conference playoffs. John Carroll plays at Severn tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Pub Date: 2/19/97

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