Annapolis parades past DuVal into semis

No. 1 Panthers run streak to 25-0 with East championship

Boys 3A regional final

High Schools

March 05, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

The top-ranked Panthers completed their parade through the 3A East region yesterday in Prince George's County with a 70-49 romp at DuVal High school to run their record to 25-0, the most wins in Anne Arundel County public school boys basketball history.

Meade set the county record at 24-3 last season.

Outscoring three opponents in the regional by 258-149, an average of 86 to 49.6 per game, the "Panther Parade" is headed to Cole Field House at the University of Maryland for a 3 p.m. Thursday 3A state semifinal against the Paint Branch/Wheaton winner.

Annapolis will make its record 25th appearance at the state tournament, the 14th under coach John Brady who is in his 23rd season at 485-89 (.845).

The Panthers have a chance to become the first metro team to go 27-0, including a state championship, since Southwestern (4A) under Terry Leverett in 1996-97.

"It feels like we took a year layoff. We were supposed to be there all three years," said Annapolis junior point guard Marcus Neal, referring to when he and this veteran group went to the 4A semifinals in 1998 but were upset by Meade last season in the region semis.

"But it really feels good to be going back."

Neal had 27 points yesterday to give him 76 points in three region victories, an average of 25.3 points a game. He had 29 in an 87-52 romp at Crossland Tuesday and 20 more despite coming out early in the second half of Thursday's 101-48 demolition of River Hill.

"Marcus Neal is much better than I thought he was," said DuVal coach Artie Walker.

"I mean I've got four quick guards, but he was running by my boys. If he don't come today, we win the ball game."

In a 21-13 Annapolis first period, Neal, who also had four rebounds, four assists and three steals, landed a trio of three-pointers. But he lost his range (only two points) in the second period along with his mates.

The host Tigers (16-10) outscored the Panthers, 16-12, in the second period to make it a 33-29 game in favor of Annapolis at the half. Marcus Johnson, who matched Neal with 11 first-half points and totaled 16 points with nine rebounds, scored six in the second half to keep the Panthers on top.

With Neal scoring nine points including his fourth three-pointer, Annapolis outscored DuVal 16-6 in the third period to take command, 49-35.

"It was an up-tempo game and their zone threw us off early," said Neal.

Annapolis drained five three-pointers and was 4-for-15 from three-point land in the first half.

DuVall missed all nine of its three-point attempts in the first half and made only one in the second half. That three, by junior Antonio Bowie, came when Annapolis switched to a rare zone defense late in the third period.

"We usually shoot threes well, but didn't want to shoot three-pointers today," said Walker, whose Tigers were led by Chris Clark's 13 points.

"We wanted to attack inside, but some of my young men got impatient. That was a great team, well coached that we played today."

Annapolis spent the last period on the foul line sinking, 17 of 22 attempts and hit 23-of-31 for the game while shooting 45 percent (21-for-47) from the field.

Thomas Hawkins had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists while Rayvon Johnson scored six points, grabbed three rebounds and had an assist off the bench.

Class 2A East

Aberdeen 49, Wicomico 41: The Eagles (24-1) had just two turnovers during the final nine minutes to maintain its lead and defeat Wicomico in last night's Class 2A East region final at Chesapeake College.

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