S. Carroll turns up heat, gains final, 75-53

Boone's 35 lead Cavaliers over Blake in 3A matchup

High Schools

Boys basketball

March 01, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On Tuesday, No. 13 South Carroll struggled to win its playoff opener. Last night against Montgomery County's Blake, the host Cavaliers and 6-foot-9 center Josh Boone left nothing to chance.

Led by Boone's triple double - 35 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks - South Carroll led from start to finish, building a sizable early lead before cruising to a 75-53 win over the Silver Spring team in the Class 3A West region semifinals.

"After our last game [a 75-66 win over Northwest], we knew in the locker room that we were lucky to escape with a win," Cavaliers coach Jim Carnes said. "The guys didn't want to end it by losing a game on our home floor. The speech before the game was `play to win,' not `play not to lose.' We let it all hang out tonight."

South Carroll (19-5) advanced to tomorrow's regional final at Walter Johnson, which beat Einstein last night, 46-42. The Cavaliers will be shooting for their first trip to the state semifinals, which will be held at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House, since 1989.

With a six-inch height advantage, Boone dominated inside. With his teammates intent on getting him the ball, the second-team All-Metro pick scored 10 points in the first nine minutes as the Cavaliers built a 21-11 lead.

"We saw that we definitely had the height advantage, so we figured we'd try to pound it inside on these guys and wear them out on the court," Boone said.

They did just that. Lifted by the perimeter shooting of guard Bryan Lowry, who scored 15 points on five three-pointers, the Cavaliers stretched their lead to as many as 30 by late in the third quarter.

"They had to make a choice," Carnes said. "We've got some guys who can shoot the ball and do some other things. They came out straight `man,' and we had guys open all over the place. They just couldn't match us size-wise. We got it going early, and it was just like a snowball from there."

South Carroll shot 55 percent for the game, compared with 28 percent for the Bengals (14-11).

Not lost in the blowout was the unlikely return of South Carroll's Colin Jones, who broke his left foot in January and was in a cast for 7 1/2 weeks. Just 48 hours after having the cast removed, Jones was sent into the game with just over 2 minutes left, scoring on a 15-foot jumper with 58 seconds to play.

"That was the most amazing thing ever," said Jones, noticeably hobbling. "I didn't even thing [Carnes] would put me in, but he did."

For South Carroll, the night served as a new beginning in many ways.

"It's a real big momentum-builder," Boone said. "Now, we've just got to keep it up."

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