Westminster's late foul shooting ends North Carroll's win streak

Pushing for county title, Owls use accuracy to defeat Panthers, 68-59

High Schools

Boys basketball

January 24, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

With the Central Maryland Conference title all but conceded to Thomas Johnson, Westminster grabbed for a share of the next-best championship last night -- the Carroll County title.

Still smarting after Friday's defeat to South Carroll, the Owls (10-4 overall, 3-4 CMC) snapped North Carroll's six-game winning streak by outshooting the Panthers (9-5, 5-2 CMC) and outplaying them on the boards to take a 68-59 win in Hampstead.

"The county title doesn't mean a lot to some people, but it still means something to me," Owls coach Dave Byers said. "We made our free throws and as the game wore on, we played better defensively."

Westminster's win created a three-way tie for first place in the Carroll County league among Westminster, North Carroll and South Carroll -- all of whom are 2-1.

Jon-David Byers, who led all scorers with 28 points, made eight of nine free throws, including six straight in the final two minutes.

North Carroll sank 10 three-point baskets, including five by Chris Vaughn (23 points) and four by Ian Malcolm (14 points), and Vaughn's fifth three-pointer cut Westminster's lead to 60-57 with 2:20 to play.

But Westminster outscored North Carroll by 8-2 the rest of the way, all eight points on free throws.

The Owls produced nine more shots off their superior rebounding, and shot almost 50 percent from the floor (26-for-54); North Carroll shot only 42 percent (19-for-45).

"They played tough defense on the perimeter all night," Vaughn said. "And Byers shot well."

North Carroll jumped to a 17-10 lead after the first quarter, powered by three three-pointers from Malcolm and one from Vaughn.

But the Panthers made only one trey in the second quarter, however, and the Owls rallied for a 34-30 halftime lead.

"Against South Carroll we didn't play well in the fourth quarter, but tonight we did," said Tavon Saunders, who sparked the Owls with 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Point guard Matt Frame (10 points) also contributed to the win, especially with two sensational layups in the fourth quarter.

"They just outplayed us in that second quarter. They drove on us and got to the basket before us," Vaughn said. "They had something to prove, beating us on our own court."

Byers, who sank four three-pointers, had three fouls by halftime, but the Owls played a zone defense in the third quarter to protect him.

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