Severna Park upends No. 15 North County

Fundamentals add up to 60-51 semifinal upset

Class 4A East boys

High Schools

March 03, 2000|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

All the little things that add up and become huge when the playoffs roll around were done by Severna Park last night in Ferndale.

The Falcons rebounded, hit their free throws, defended smart and aggressive and went on to stun No. 15-ranked North County, 60-51, in a Class 4A East region semifinal.

Junior guard Jon Garritt led the Falcons (16-8) with 21 points as they avenged a 66-62 loss to North County in the regular season and move one step closer to their second state playoff appearance.

The Falcons will next meet Meade -- a 62-59 winner over Arundel in last night's other semifinal -- at 7 p.m. tomorrow at home, where they were 9-1 during the regular season. The Mustangs have two wins over Severna Park this season.

"The intensity on defense on our end was amazing. We never let up the entire game," said Garritt, who scored 11 points in the final quarter.

"We knew we wanted the game more from the get-go. The first time they beat us, but we felt they shouldn't have."

Both teams came out tentative and it was apparent looking at the scoreboard -- 2-1 North County -- three minutes in.

And while the Falcons found some flow offensively, enough to build a 44-37 lead late in the third quarter, the Knights never got completely on track despite 14 points from senior guard Chuck Willis and a fourth-quarter rally.

The Knights trailed 49-47 with 2: 02 left when Corey Bowie hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to one. But Trevor Quinn (16 points) and Garritt answered with four straight makes at the free- throw line to help send the Falcons on their way.

In the fourth quarter, the Falcons went eight of 10 from the line and Joe Burke (14 points) dominated the boards in the final minutes.

North County coach Mike Francis cited the slow start, an 11-for-23 showing at the line and the Falcons' strong rebounding as the difference.

"We're used to getting off to a better start and it seemed like from then on, we were fighting to get back into it," said Francis. "When it got late, we started pressing and missed some shots. A lot of that was Severna Park, they were up to the challenge and controlled the tempo."

Said Severna Park coach Paul Pellicani: "We did a much better time on the boards this time, our team defense was tremendous and we took better care of the basketball. Our seniors were driven. They refused to lose, came out focused and stepped up to the challenge."

And while the Severna Park seniors continue on, a fine senior group from North County that lifted the program saw their season end earlier than anticipated.

Standout center Jerome Goodman, double-teamed by constant backside help, finished with 14 and Mark Jennings with eight.

"That's the hardest thing of all, knowing we'll never be together again like this. This was a special group of seniors for this school," said Francis. "I just wish we could have finished this better."

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