Edgewood makes it 26 straight, tops Eagles Rams' free throws ice win over Aberdeen, 66-59

Boys basketball

January 31, 1998|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The last time Aberdeen and Edgewood met on a basketball court, Aberdeen virtually locked up its second straight Harford County championship by stopping the Rams for the second time in less than a month.

Since that night, exactly one year and three days ago today, Edgewood has been unstoppable.

Last night wasn't any different.

The eighth-ranked Rams, who entered the U.S. Highway 40 rematch riding a 25-game winning streak, made the visiting Eagles their 26th victim by hitting enough foul shots down the stretch to hang on for a 66-59 triumph.

The victory, witnessed by an overflow crowd, improved Edgewood's record to 14-0 overall and gave the Rams sole possession of first-place in the county standings.

Edgewood's post-game celebration, however, was short-lived after the players returned to the locker room and discovered that someone had broken in and stolen some personal items.

Edgewood coach and athletic director Bob Slagle was too busy dealing with the police investigation to speak about his team's latest achievement, but his assistant, Paul Perkovich, wasn't.

"The foul line was the difference, but I thought our guys really picked it up defensively down the stretch and hit the boards hard," said Perkovich. "Aberdeen has had our number but our guys knew it was gut-check time, and they pulled it out."

Senior guard Keith Winder paced the Rams with 21 points, and sophomore guard Eric Butler added 14.

The Rams, who closed out last season by winning 12 straight and capturing the school's first state championship since 1975, ended last night's game hitting 12 of 21 fourth-quarter free throws.

The 13th-ranked Eagles (12-3, 6-1) tied the game at 46 early in the third quarter before Winder regained the lead for Edgewood for good by hitting both ends of a one-and-one with 7: 04 left.

"They've beaten us for four years, and we wanted revenge," said Winder. "This is the game we've all been waiting for, and we knew we knew how to beat them. It was just a matter of going out and doing it, and we did."

Mike Griffin, who shattered Dudley Bradley's single-season scoring record last season, struggled from the field but still finished with nine points. Jonathan Booker, one of three sophomores on Edgewood's team receiving quality minutes, added eight points, including a bucket down the stretch that helped ice it.

E.J. Henderson, a linebacker who already has accepted a football scholarship to Maryland, used his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame to pound the boards for Aberdeen. He and senior Demetris Oliphant shared team scoring honors with 16 points apiece.

After falling behind by eight in the first quarter, Aberdeen cut the score to 28-25 on a layup and foul shot by Oliphant with 4: 18 left in the half. Mike Green pulled the visitors to within three again with a three-pointer late in the half but Edgewood still led at half, 35-31.

Pub Date: 1/31/98

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