Annapolis' county streak hits 50

Panthers top N. County to extend mark, 76-51

Boys basketball

High School

January 23, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Josh Johnson put up game-high totals of 28 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots as the No. 4 Annapolis boys basketball team rolled to its 50th consecutive win in Anne Arundel County by beating North County, 76-51, last night in Ferndale.

Meade was the last county team to beat the Panthers, that in January 1998. With last night's win, Annapolis ran its overall record to 14-0, 9-0 county.

Host North County fell to 10-5, 7-2 after trailing from start to finish, shooting 19 percent (6-for-32) from the field in the first half. Annapolis shot 52 percent (17-for-33), including 4-for-8 on three-pointers, and the Knights were never in the game after falling behind 43-16 at the half.

"North County likes to talk a lot of stuff, you know," said Johnson, a 6-foot-6 junior. "I thought they was going to come out and try to bust us, but vice versa, we turned it back around."

Johnson popped in 15 of his points and grabbed nine boards in the Panthers' big first half that also featured a stellar defensive effort from senior guard Freddie Allen. Allen held the Knights' leading scorer (18.1) and top player, Kevin Hammack, to five points.

Allen (seven rebounds) also scored 14 points along with Laronja Owens to join Johnson in double figures.

Hammack, who shot only 1-for-8 in the first half, finished with a team-high 15 points, seven coming in the last quarter when the outcome had long been settled.

"We came out and played a great first half," said Annapolis coach John Brady, whose Panthers forced 12 turnovers in the first half. In obvious disgust over his team's play, North County coach Mike Francis pulled his starters midway through the second quarter.

"I wasn't happy with our ball-handling ... I thought we got careless," Francis said.

In the third quarter, North County shot 8-for-16, but failed to take advantage of five Annapolis turnovers and shaved just four points off its deficit.

"We played kinda sloppy half in the second half, but hey, we still had a margin," Johnson said.

The Knights got their fans all excited at the start of the fourth as Greg Scott scored eight points during a 10-3 run.

But Annapolis pulled away from there, finishing 28-for-62 from the field (45 percent), compared with 19-for-59 (32 percent) for North County. The victors also had the edge in rebounds, 36-23.

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