Centennial feels sting, as first loss ends season Broadneck's 53-51 victory leaves Eagles 'annoyed'

March 04, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Certain losses hurt more than others. For Centennial, yesterday's 53-51 loss to Broadneck in the Class 3A East Region quarterfinals was one that hurt a lot.

The Eagles were 22-0, ranked No. 4 in the Baltimore area and No. 1 in the D.C. area. Going into the game, they felt they were a better team than Broadneck. They still do.

"I'm annoyed," Centennial point guard Scott Bross said. "If a better team beat us, I wouldn't care so much. This is annoying."

He thought Centennial's long layoff definitely hurt. The Eagles had not played a game in the previous 11 days.

"We weren't as relaxed and fluid as we normally are," Bross said.

Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek praised his team's defense for controlling the game, limiting Centennial's second shots and making the Eagles shoot every shot under pressure.

But he also said the deciding factor was Broadneck's home-court advantage. The game was played at Anne Arundel Community College, Broadneck's home court this season.

"The draw was a big factor. I don't think we could have beaten them at Centennial," Kazmarek said. "Here's a team [Centennial] that's 22-0 and has to travel. Something's wrong with that. But it was great for my team."

Kazmarek knew his seventh-ranked Bruins (20-4) were in for a tough game when they were held to two baskets in the second quarter, and Centennial led at halftime, 29-25.

"I was surprised they were able to dribble penetrate," Kazmarek said. "And we like to play inside, but the inside seemed crowded tonight."

Centennial's 2-3 zone sagged inside to stop John Williams, Noble Watkins and Earl Downs, but left itself vulnerable to three-point shots. Broadneck took advantage, sinking seven three-pointers. Reserve guard Mike D'Archangelo sank three of them in the first half to keep Broadneck close.

"We didn't expect him [D'Archangelo] or No. 4 [Lehrman Dotson] to score like they did. Their points made the difference," Centennial coach Jim Hill said. Dotson, a sophomore point guard, led all scorers with 17 points.

Centennial, which prides itself on always going to the foul line more than its opponent, failed in that aspect. Broadneck was 12-for-19 at the line, and Centennial was 8-for-12. In the second half, Centennial was 1-for-2 at the line. Broadneck was 10-for-13 at the line in the fourth quarter.

"This game didn't feel any harder than a lot of our Howard County games," Centennial center Matt Laycock said. "But it was different. And it was definitely more physical than we've seen. The refs didn't call much. Broadneck had two legitimate big guys, so I had to play more defense than usual. Broadneck played well, did what they needed to do and stayed under control."

Brian Otten led Centennial with 14 points, and he played strong defense against Williams, Broadneck's top offensive threat who was held to 16 points. He averages almost 21. Aaron Williams scored 13 for the Eagles -- almost all off drives.

"This is disappointing," Laycock said. "But you really can't complain about a 22-1 season."

Broadneck moves on to play another Howard County team, Mount Hebron, tomorrow night at Anne Arundel Community College.

Pub Date: 3/04/97

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