Dream ends early for Annapolis

No. 1 Panthers' attack stifled by Paint Branch

Boys 3A state semifinal

High Schools

March 10, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Top-ranked Annapolis' bid for an undefeated season and the Class 3A state boys basketball title vanished in a defensive quagmire at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House yesterday afternoon.

Montgomery County's Paint Branch, using a quick, athletic defense and strong shooting, sent the Panthers home from the teams' state tournament semifinal with a 63-56 defeat and 25-1 season.

Afterward, the Annapolis locker room was stone silent, the Panthers crushed emotionally.

"It's very difficult to win a state championship, because you have to play well at this stage and have a little luck," said coach John Brady, finishing his 23rd season with the best single-season record in Anne Arundel County history.

No other team kept Annapolis in the 50s this season. In fact, Paint Branch -- relying mostly on man-to-man defense, often full-court but mixed with a occasional box-and-one -- held Annapolis 25 points beneath its season average of nearly 81 a game.

ANNAPOLIS -- Neal 16, M.Johnson 19, Hawkins 7, Feldmann 9, R.Johnson 5. Totals 21 9-10 56.

PAINT BRANCH -- Oyenuga 12, Wise 19, Aluko 15, Daley 4, Evans 11, Williams 2. Totals 27 8-13 63. Half: P 35-33.

Boys basketball playoffs

State semifinals (At Univ. of Md. College Park)

Yesterday's games

Class 4A

Quince Orchard 57, Meade 50

Oxon Hill 55, Southern-B, 44

Class 3A

Paint Branch 63, Annapolis 56

Randallstown 53, Northern-Calvert 46

Today's games

Class 2A

Aberdeen vs. Fort Hill, 7

Gwynn Park vs. Edmondson, 9

Class 1A

Crisfield vs. Williamsport, 3

Brunswick vs. Pikesville, 5

State finals

Tomorrow's games

Class 1A, 1 p.m.

Class 3A

Randallstown vs. Paint Branch, 3 p.m.

Class 2A, 6 p.m.

Class 4A

Quince Orchard vs.

Oxon Hill, 8 p.m.

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