Randallstown rumbles into title game

Rams' quickness stymies Northern-Calvert, 53-46

Boys 3A state semifinals

High Schools

March 10, 2000|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK -- After his team lost the Baltimore County championship at home a couple weeks ago, Randallstown coach Kim Rivers said the defeat helped the Rams regained some focus.

Now, the Rams have their sights set on the state Class 3A title. Last night at the University of Maryland, No. 13 Randallstown rolled into the state championship game with a 53-46 victory over Northern of Calvert County.

The Rams (24-3) will play Paint Branch of Montgomery County tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Cole Field House. Paint Branch, ranked 12th in the Washington area, advanced with a 63-56 victory over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Annapolis in the first semifinal game.

Randallstown, which won the 3A title in 1995, nearly lost its focus in the final quarter, watching a 20-point lead get sliced in half in the final minute of regulation.

Senior guard Aaron McCoy scored 14 points to lead Randallstown, and sophomore center Aaron Hutchinson added 12 and a game-high seven rebounds. Northern-Calvert (19-8) was led by a game-high 18 points from David Morris.

"For a lot of these kids this is the first time here," said Rivers, who has the Rams in the state semifinals for the fourth time in six seasons. "We had some jitters, but were able to work through them and play Randallstown basketball."

Using its quickness and athleticism, Randallstown dominated the Patriots after the midway point of the second quarter, leading 51-31 with 2: 40 remaining in the game. But Northern-Calvert got back within 51-44 with 25 seconds to play, taking advantage of the Rams' substitutes.

McCoy, who added three assists and two steals, hit two free throws with 10.3 seconds left to finally close out the Patriots.

"We had a lot of nerves coming out," said McCoy, whose team lost the county title to Pikesville by one point. "We let things get a little closer than we like, but we realized that we have to keep our focus for all 32 minutes."

The Rams assumed control in the opening quarter, taking a 10-2 lead midway through.

After Northern-Calvert pulled to within 17-12 in the second, the Rams increased the defensive pressure on the Patriots' backcourt turning three straight turnovers into baskets for a 23-12 lead. Randallstown closed the half with a three-pointer by Archie Trader and a jumper from McCoy for a commanding 28-12 lead.

The Rams controlled the boards, out-rebounding Northern-Calvert, 33-16, which assisted in them getting 21 more shots (52-31).

"Their trap bothered us, but we just gave them too many shots," said Northern-Calvert coach Rick Weber. "Three of their first four shots, we made them shots we liked, but they would just go right back and get the ball."

NORTHERN-CALVERT -- Hall 15, Morrow 3, Hall 2, Morris 18, Rice 6, Hurley 2. Totals 14 12-13 46.

RANDALLSTOWN -- Smith 8, Jordan 1, McMillan 8, McCoy 14, Miles 4, Hutchinson 12, Trader 3, Banton 2, Squires 1. Totals 22 7-10 53. Half: R 28-12.

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