Wilde Lake rudely kicks Centennial from 1st, 68-36

With a fury, Wildecats rebound from OT losses

Boys basketball

January 13, 2000|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Great expectations sometimes fail to materialize. And sometimes they are just late blossoming.

Wilde Lake was the preseason favorite to win the Howard County championship. There were even whispers of a possible undefeated season.

But the Wildecats (8-3, 5-2 league) struggled, losing in overtime to Hammond and Long Reach.

Yesterday at Centennial, however, the Wildecats played like a championship team, vanquishing the Eagles, 68-36, and knocking them out of a first-place tie with Mount Hebron.

"They beat us at every aspect," Centennial coach Jim Hill said. "Even when we played good defense the ball went in. They played very well. I haven't seen a high school team play like that in a long time."

The Wildecats started quickly, leading 12-2 on three three-pointers -- two by Jeff Bright and one by Chad Fawcett.

They extended that lead to 23-9 in the second period until Centennial (7-4, 5-2) began passing the ball to center Pat McAfee. The 6-foot-6 junior went to the foul line four times before halftime, sinking five of eight free throws.

The strategy enabled the Eagles to climb back within 25-20, before Wilde Lake's David Martin sank a basket just before halftime.

Martin, Wilde Lake's leading scorer, was held to five points in the half, but finished with 23 points.

Jerome Parkinson, Wilde Lake's 6-4 forward, scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds. Nyema Wilson, who set the tone offensively before getting in foul trouble, had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Parkinson scored nine points in the decisive third quarter when Wilde Lake outscored Centennial 24-9. The Wildecats then scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter -- 11 of them by Martin -- to complete a 39-9 run.

"This is the way we are supposed to play," Wilde Lake coach Lester Clay said. "We're starting to look like a team. This is the best game we've played."

Wilde Lake's defense intimidated Centennial into shooting 24 percent (14-for-59) from the floor, including 3-for-22 in the fourth period.

"Jerome [Parkinson] played the best defense of any player I had on the floor," Clay said.

The Wildecats also dominated the boards except for Centennial's Anthony McPhail, who grabbed 10 rebounds despite playing only half the game.

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