Crisfield drops Pikesville to pick up championship

Shooting touch deserts Panthers in 42-37 defeat

Boys 1A state final

March 12, 2000|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Pikesville's 12th-ranked basketball team played with plenty of heart in yesterday's 1A state title game against Crisfield.

In the end, however, the Panthers were done in as much by their poor shooting (2-for-9 from the free-throw line, 16-for-51 from the field) as by the opportunistic and talented Crabbers, who won their 11th straight game, 42-37, and the Eastern Shore program's eighth state crown at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

The Baltimore County champions rallied from an early eight-point deficit, led by one at halftime, and had hopes of winning their 18th straight game and first state crown in their second title-game appearance.

The Panthers (23-3) limited Crisfield's star guard, Andre Collins, to half his scoring average and forced him into 11 turnovers.

Pikesville's Clement Sorgho had 19 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and three steals, and teammate Lance Fair scored 11 points.

But it wasn't enough to beat Crisfield (25-3). Still, there were no tears among the Pikesville players at the final buzzer, only stunned expressions.

"The heart was there. We tried to gut it out. We did everything almost exactly the way we wanted to do," Fair said. "The only thing we couldn't do was sink our shots. And there's not much you can do about that."

Pikesville coach Craig Amos spent more than 20 minutes in the locker room after the game explaining how "Sometimes in life, you give 100 percent, you go all out, and you still don't achieve your goals.

"You just have to chalk it up to experience so you can go home and sleep at night. Nobody thought we could do what we've done this year. I just had to remind our kids about what they've achieved."

Collins, who hopes to attend Maryland, though he is not yet a full academic qualifier, finished with 16 points. Crisfield's Sterling Mitchell had nine points and nine rebounds.

Crisfield coach Phillip Rayfield said: "They played great defensively, pushing Andre out a little, shutting down the [three-point shot,] forcing us to play a mid-range game, which isn't our strength."

Down 35-31 with 4: 55 to play, Pikesville blew two straight possessions, then put Collins on the line, where he sank both free throws for a 37-31 lead. Sorgho's jumper with 2: 44 left brought Pikesville within 37-34, but the Panthers blew consecutive possessions, the latter on a steal by Collins with 1: 33 to play.

Two seconds later, however, Pikesville's Andrew Braver stole the ball and called a timeout.

Pikesville blew two more possessions before Collins sank one of two foul shots for a 38-34 lead with 32.3 seconds to play. Teammate Kirk Jackson's free throws were countered by Braver's three-pointer.

But Collins clinched the win on two free throws with 8.8 seconds left.

"I just concentrated on getting the ball to my teammates. What good's 30 points if my team loses?" said Collins, who averaged 30.5 points entering the game.

CRISFIELD -- Collins 16, Sterling 9, Bell 6, Jackson 6, Holmes 3, Turpin 2. Totals 12 13-21 42.

PIKESVILLE -- Sorgho 19, Fair 11, Braver 5, Bakaev 2. Totals 16 2-9 37. Halftime: P 21-20

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