Lack of aim grounds Randallstown, 67-50

Rams start game shooting 1-for-12

Paint Branch rolls

Boys 3A state final

March 12, 2000|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK -- Randallstown took a little time to get on its feet in its Class 3A state semifinals victory against Northern of Calvert County Thursday.

In yesterday's state boys basketball championship game against Paint Branch, the No. 13 Rams were knocked off theirs.

The Panthers of Montgomery County put Randallstown in an early hole, and the Rams weren't able to recover as Paint Branch stormed to the title, 67-50, at University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

In winning its first state championship since 1977, Paint Branch knocked off previously unbeaten and top-ranked Annapolis in the semifinal round on Thursday, then dispatched Randallstown to leave Baltimore County empty-handed in two title games. Pikesville lost the Class 1A title to Crisfield in yesterday's first final.

Jamal Wise and Seye Aluko each had a game high of 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead Paint Branch (22-5). Barry Smith and Aaron Hutchinson scored 11 points apiece to lead Randallstown (23-4).

The Panthers, ranked No. 12 in the Washington area, scored the game's first 14 points as the Rams had no solution for the frontcourt of Wise, Aluko and Seyi Oyenuga, who combined for 42 points and 23 rebounds.

"We probably played our worst game of the season," said Randallstown coach Kim Rivers, who won the 3A title in his first season in 1995. "Defensively, our goal was to give up 45 points, we gave up 22 points more. Every time we come up and get some turnovers, we turn the ball over ourselves."

The Rams were able to crawl back in the game midway in the third quarter, trailing 34-27, but collapsed under the weight of sloppy offensive play that including six turnovers. They finished with 21 for the game.

Paint Branch put the stamp on the title from that point, scoring the next 13 points, including five straight from Oyenuga after an intentional foul on Randallstown, for a 47-27 margin.

"They have a real solid team," said Hutchinson, a 6-foot-4 sophomore center, who added 11 rebounds and two blocks. "I thought we were going to wear them down, but it didn't worked out like that."

It was a disaster from the start for Randallstown, which didn't get its first points until Archie Trader converted with about 90 seconds left in the first quarter. Down 18-2 after shooting 1-for-12 in the opening quarter, the Rams provided signs of life, pulling within 22-13 midway through the second quarter on a basket by Hutchinson.

But Panthers guard Tamar Daley drilled a three-pointer for a 25-13 lead. Daley and Mike Evans had three three-pointers in the opening half, forcing the Rams to switch out of a 2-3 zone.

"We were ready for a zone, and it hurt us a little bit," said Paint Branch coach Walter Hardy. "We've matured as a team, moving the ball better, looking inside better. We put up some bad shots up, but we were pretty patient."

RANDALLSTOWN -- Smith 11, Jordan 9, McMillan 2, McCoy 2, Miles 5, Hutchinson 11, Trader 8, Blackwell 2. Totals 23 1-8 50.

PAINT BRANCH -- Oyenuga 12, Wise 15, S. Aluko 15, Daley 8, Evans 9, Sumner 2, Newman-Smart 2, Henderson 1, M. Aluko 2, Williams 1. Totals 23 16-24 67. Half: PB 28-17.

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