No. 10 Aberdeen pays back Edgewood

Eagles win, 72-63, avenge Monday's OT loss to Rams

Boys basketball

February 20, 2000|By Bo Smolka | Bo Smolka,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Round 2 goes to Aberdeen.

After suffering its first loss of the season, to Edgewood in overtime Monday night, No. 10 Aberdeen exacted some revenge with a 72-63 win over the Rams before a sellout, raucous crowd at Edgewood last night.

The win vaulted the Eagles (19-1, 13-1 Harford County) back into a tie for the county lead with Edgewood (15-5, 13-1), which had its 11-game winning streak stopped. The Rams hadn't lost since Dec. 30.

After the game, both coaches said they expected to meet again in the Class 2A playoffs.

"Edgewood is a quality team," Aberdeen coach Richard Hart said. "They gave it to us Monday. Our guys responded by working hard in practice, and they showed what they are made of tonight."

Bill Guy scored 22 points to lead Aberdeen, and Jai Lewis added 18, as Edgewood struggled to contain the 6-foot-5 power forward down on the block.

Jonathan Booker led Edgewood with 21 points.

The atmosphere was charged from the outset, and twice the game was delayed as police broke up disturbances in the crowd.

Aberdeen squandered an early 10-point lead and trailed, 32-27, at halftime. But after scoring 27 points in the first half, the Eagles exploded for 28 in the third quarter, and they took command with a 16-4 run over the final 4: 02 of the third period.

The run was sparked by guard Gary Neal, who scored seven of his nine points. He also made two key passes that were converted by Guy, including a three-pointer that gave the Eagles the lead for good, 44-43, with 3: 40 left in the third period.

"Gary Neal may be the best all-around player in the county, and he doesn't get any credit for that," Hart said. "He does whatever we need him to do. If we need him to score, he can score. If we need him to rebound, he can rebound. If we need him to play the point, he can play the point."

Neal's scoring was especially important since Edgewood held Tylan Gatling, Aberdeen's leading scorer, to six points.

Edgewood, though, could not contain Lewis. He scored six of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, bullying his way inside as the Eagles protected the lead.

"Lewis is very tough for us to guard," Edgewood coach Bob Slagle said. "They made their shots, we didn't. They played harder this time, we probably played harder last time. It's one to one, and we probably have another one down the road."

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