Broadneck tops Chesapeake for title Barnard, Limbacher lift Bruins to 66-55 victory over stubborn Cougars

Boys basketball

February 26, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

If asked to pick two players who would carry Broadneck's boys basketball team to their second straight Anne Arundel County Championship game victory, most people would have named John Williams and Noble Watkins.

Williams and Watkins have carried the Bruins all season long. They contributed last night in a 66-55 victory over feisty Chesapeake, but junior forward Brooks Barnard and senior guard Brad Limbacher shared the spotlight with the Bruins' dynamic duo.

It was Barnard early and Limbacher late in Broadneck's 13th consecutive win.

No. 7-ranked Broadneck, champion of the tougher South Division, was expected to roll over North champion Chesapeake at Arundel High in Gambrills.

The Bruins (19-4 overall and 16-1 in county play after last night) had waxed the Cougars, 59-41, in cross-division action during the regular season.

Apparently nobody told the Cougars (12-11, 11-6) they were supposed to just show and accept the runner-up trophy while the Bruins repeated. Chesapeake, which has a chance for the school's first winning season in its 20-year history if it wins a game in the playoffs next week, was playing in its first-ever championship game.

"We told the kids not to ever forget what it was like to play in this game because they may never experience the atmosphere again," said Chesapeake coach John Spinnenweber, a former assistant to Broadneck's Ken Kazmarek. "Nobody expected us to be in this game. It was great for our program because now they know what it's like to play in a big game and what it takes down the stretch."

Ryan Plews (13), Sharif Holder (12) and Thomas Jacobs (11) combined for 36 Cougars points after mustering only 14 points in the first meeting with the Bruins.

Had it not been for the play of Barnard and Limbacher, Chesapeake might have pulled off the upset of the season.

Williams scored 21 points, but only 12 through three periods and eight of his final nine came with the result pretty much decided.

Watkins tossed in 17 points and had eight boardsm, but after scoring eight points in the third period, he didn't score in the last eight minutes.

"I was a little flat coming out -- I didn't know why," said Williams, who led the county in scoring with a 20.8 average. "The whole team stayed together through thick and thin when things weren't going our way and we had other people stepping it up like Brad and Brooks."

The 6-foot-3 Barnard tossed in 10 points and had 10 rebounds (seven on the offensive side) and tied the 5-8 Limbacher in steals.

Williams only scored six points in the first half, but dished off three assists to Watkins, who led all first-half scorers with nine points. Also, the superb defense that has become Williams' calling card as a four-year starter was on display. The Bruins' 6-4 swingman held Chesapeake's 6-3 junior Ray Wagner, who is averaging 17.3 points, to just nine.

Jacobs made a three-pointer while being fouled by Lehrman Dotson and made it a four-point play with the free throw to start the final period and suddenly it was an eight-point game (45-37).

Limbacher (eight points) got the Bruins back on track. First, he hit a pair from the line after Barnard's basket. Then he stole the ball three times within a 60-second span, resulting in five more points as the Bruins pushed their lead to 55-39.

"Chesapeake was within reach and we broke away because of Brad's defensive play," said Kazmarek.

Pub Date: 2/26/97

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