South Carroll quiets foes in West, 54-53

Boone scores 27 as Cavs hit 1st state semi since '89

Class 3A boys basketball

March 03, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BETHESDA -- Intimidated by a raucous, overflow crowd at Walter Johnson at the start of last night's Class 3A West Regional final, No. 13 South Carroll and 6-foot-9 center Josh Boone finished as the intimidators.

Trailing by 10 points early and five in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers boys basketball team took the lead on Boone's slam-dunk with 1:16 left, then kept it when he forced the Wildcats' Jeff Hall to shoot an off-balance 10-footer too hard off the glass as time expired, giving South Carroll a 54-53 victory and a trip to its first state semifinal since 1989.

"The crowd was really getting to us [early], but we realized we had to settle down and play our game," said Boone, who said the team felt vindication after the loss of All-Metro point guard Marshall Strickland early in the season. "I think we proved a lot of people wrong."

Boone finished with 27 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks as South Carroll (20-5) advanced to the 3A state semifinals at Cole Field House in College Park against Gwynn Park of Prince George's County, a 70-68 overtime winner over No. 2 Annapolis.

To get there, however, the Cavaliers first had to come back against a smaller Walter Johnson team. Trailing 46-41 after Pgoyan Rahimi's three-pointer they used a 9-0 run to take the lead on Boone's layup with 5:05 left.

The Wildcats (14-9) regained the lead, 53-52, on Rick Eskelson's driving layup before Boone sealed the win.

"We didn't think they could handle [Boone] inside," said South Carroll coach Jim Carnes.

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