Edgewood's attack routs Joppatowne Rams win by 39, 100-61, in teams' third meeting

Boys basketball

March 08, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

The biggest hurdle prohibitive favorite Edgewood had to overcome going into last night's Class 2A North regional championship game was a mental one.

The Rams had beaten final-round foe Joppatowne by 27 and 32 points in earlier Harford County League meetings, and they were coming off an emotional semifinal win over Randallstown Thursday.

Then they went out and demolished Joppatowne, 100-61, sending a Bob Slagle-coached team to the state tournament for the sixth time in the last eight years. The opponent Friday night (5 p.m.) in College Park will be Central of Prince George's County, which beat Long Reach, 90-70.

This one turned out to be a close game for three minutes, but a 14-0 Edgewood spurt took care of that. With a patented run-gun offense in gear, complemented by a harassing, steal-oriented man-to-man defense, the burst included one nine-point spree in 45 seconds.

En route to its third 99-point-plus effort in four regional wins, No. 15-ranked Edgewood (24-2) bolted to a 31-12 quarter lead and the rest was academic.

"The biggest fear we had to overcome was thinking Thursday was our big game," said Slagle, referring to his club's 76-71 victory over Randallstown. "We talked about it in our practices on Friday and this morning. We wanted to come out and discourage them as quickly as possible and establish our tempo."

Three of the four seniors -- Keith Winder, Mike Griffin, and Allen Jordan -- start, and they combined for 61 points. The 6-foot-1 Jordan, who plays in the middle, added a dozen rebounds.

"Strength is my big thing," Jordan said. "Coach calls me the beast of the team. Other inside people might be taller, but they're not stronger."

Said 6-foot point guard Winder, who had 87 regional points, "We go after everybody with the same aggressiveness,"

Eric Butler, a 5-8 sophomore, backed the scoring leaders with 19 points, an output that included four long-range baskets.

Of the situation, coach Tony Hockeday of Joppatowne (13-10) said, "Once we saw the draw, we knew we could get to this game." The Mariners drew a first-round bye, then defeated Western Tech and Towson.

"Coming in here, mentally we had to get past thinking about those two [previous] losses," the coach said. "We wanted to try and play our game and get the ball to our big men."

Big man Tony Brooks, a 6-4 senior who had averaged 22 points in the two earlier playoff games, was held to only seven. Sharheem Nash led Joppatowne with 15.

Pub Date: 3/08/98

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