Pikesville rebuffs Chesapeake

Panthers take region title, 64-52

hope third time is charm in the states

1A North boys basketball

High Schools

March 03, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Each of the past two years, the Pikesville boys basketball team has scaled the state tournament mountain only to be stopped just shy of the peak. After back-to-back losses in the state title game, the Panthers are hoping the third time will be the charm.

Pikesville's 64-52 win over host Chesapeake of Baltimore County last night in the Class 1A North Region title game meant the Panthers will make the trip to College Park for the state semifinals for the third straight year.

Pikesville (18-3) will play South Region champion Oakland Mills in Friday's 3 p.m. semifinal at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

Led by second-team All-Metro forward Clement Sorgho, who scored a game-high 26 points, Malcolm Thomas (14) and point guard Drew Braver (12), Pikesville built its lead by controlling the boards, holding Chesapeake to one shot on most possessions while often getting two or three of its own.

The biggest difference, however, came at the foul line, where the Panthers outscored Chesapeake, 21-2. "I think we just wore them down," said Braver, one of six seniors on the squad.

The Bayhawks, playing in their first regional final in any sport since 1995, kept it close most of the way. Led by the play of 6-foot-4 point guard David Robinson Jr. (19 points), Chesapeake (13-13) briefly grabbed the lead in the second quarter before the Panthers regrouped to take command, building their lead to as many as 11 points in the third quarter.

The Bayhawks got the deficit down to five when center Arthur White stepped out and hit a three-pointer with just over two minutes left, but that was as close as they would get as the Panthers hit 12 of their last 15 foul shots, with Sorgho and Braver each making five of six in the fourth quarter.

"We had to foul them, and they just capitalized at the line," said first-year Chesapeake coach Matthew Mackey, who said the loss couldn't take away from a stellar season. "I'm overwhelmed with the success of the program."

For Pikesville, the task now turns to winning a state title.

"We have that mentality, I think, this year that the third time's the charm - that we're going to do it, said Braver. "It helps that we've been [to Cole Field House] the last two years, so we're used to the big court and the background. We're like veterans now, and we have the mentality that we're going to do it no matter what."

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