Annapolis edges Owls in OT Panthers win 4A East title on road in Westminster

Boys basketball

March 08, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Marcus Johnson, one of four key youngsters on the team, scored four of the last five points as No. 13-ranked Annapolis outlasted Westminster, 55-52, in overtime last night to win the Class 4A East Region title.

The young Panthers earned their state-record 24th trip to the final four at the University of Maryland and 13th in the past 21 years on the road in Carroll County.

Annapolis will play the 4A West champion (Sherwood or Gaithersburg) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cole Field House.

Annapolis (21-6) saved Anne Arundel County from what would have been a second straight season without a boys team at Cole.

Senior-dominated Westminster (16-9), which has never won a state title, almost pulled off a victory in front of an enthusiastic, packed house.

With the score tied at 47 in regulation, the Owls had three chances to score in the final minute but missed a free throw and two shots underneath. Panthers junior Kyron Belt (eight points, seven rebounds) grabbed the last miss as the clock ran out.

In overtime, Annapolis sophomore Travis Foster's three-point play tied the game at 50 with 2: 20 left. Marcus Neal, another 10th-grader who led the Panthers with 13 points and five assists, dished off to Foster (eight points) who went over two Owls and was fouled by Bill Bowman. He then sank the game-tying free throw.

At the other end, Johnson stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a slam and a 52-50 Annapolis lead with two minutes remaining.

The two teams traded failed shot possessions before Bowman went up for a rebound and was fouled by Thomas Hawkins (11 points, eight rebounds) with 47 ticks left. Bowman sank a pair from the line to tie the game at 52.

Johnson's inside jumper put the Panthers back on top by 54-52 with 0: 33 showing.

Hawkins' third foul put Desmond Esteves (nine points) on the line with 20 seconds to go. Esteves missed both, but grabbed his own rebound and the Owls called time out with 13 seconds left.

With three seconds remaining, Krug couldn't find the handle on a pass near the sideline and it caromed off Belt's heel out of bounds. Belt was called for a foul, giving Krug a chance to tie it.

Krug missed both shots and Neal was fouled with two seconds left, hit the front end of two, missed the second and the clock ran out on the rebound.

Pub Date: 3/08/98

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