Thomas has 51 as T. Johnson romps, 108-77

Class 4A boys basketball

March 03, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

FREDERICK - Jermaine Thomas of Thomas Johnson tied a school record yesterday by scoring 51 points as he led the Patriots to the Class 4A East Region championship game with a 108-77 victory over Meade.

Thomas Johnson will play Magruder of Montgomery County at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cole Field House in College Park.

Despite leaving the game with 3:55 to play, Thomas, a 6-foot-2 senior who will play at La Salle next season, tied the record set by Mike Rice in 1976.

"We needed to get some other guys some floor time," Thomas said. "The record doesn't mean that much to me. I just want to win another state title."

Thomas, who is averaging 26.6 points, has 1,945 career points, just 27 from the school record, also held by Rice.

Thomas Johnson (24-1) won a Class 3A state title in 1999, its seventh state championship in 14 final-four appearances. The Patriots lost in the state final last season. Yesterday's victory was the team's 18th straight.

Thomas was 21-for-24 at the foul line, including 10 straight in the fourth quarter.

No. 10 Meade (19-7) was overwhelmed from the start by Thomas Johnson's press and shooting accuracy. After scoring the game's first basket, the Mustangs gave up the next 25 points to the Patriots. Thomas Johnson made five steals during that run and seven straight baskets without a miss.

Meade made 10 turnovers in the first quarter and fell behind 35-10. Thomas Johnson's biggest lead was 101-49 in the fourth quarter.

"As soon as we got behind, we couldn't run anything. Our cuts were not distinct," Meade coach Butch Young said. "Our screens were not set. It was like we hadn't practiced. The panic button was pressed."

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