St. Frances fends off Aberdeen, 77-66

Panthers improve to 10-1 behind Walker's 21 points

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 04, 2003|By Sam Atkinson | Sam Atkinson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The No. 7-ranked St. Frances boys' basketball team overcame 32 turnovers, early foul trouble and a relentless Aberdeen team and held on for a 77-66 victory last night at Edgewood High.

The Panthers (10-1) of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference outscored the 16th-ranked Eagles (6-2), 21-9 in the fourth quarter and took their largest lead of the night of 64-42.

St. Frances senior guard Demetrick Walker led all scorers with 21 points, 13 in the second half. Junior Gordan Chase was a force in the paint for the Panthers, scoring 13, and seniors Derrick Brookes and Bryan Scroggins added 12 each.

Aberdeen eventually used a full-court press to cut into its deficit. It forced a series of Panthers turnovers, and Aberdeen closed on a 12-4 run in the game's final four minutes.

"I thought we were really ready to pull away when we were up by 22 points. [But] then, we make eight turnovers in a row," said St. Frances coach William Wells. "That really put them back in the game. When you give a scrappy team like Aberdeen the opportunity to get in the game, we could of lost that game."

Said Aberdeen coach Richard Hart: "I was proud of my guys, because they didn't quit. That tells you something about your team. You can't ask for anything more than that as a coach."

Aberdeen senior guard Dejon Brown led the ill-fated comeback with 11 second-half points, including two three-pointers and several dunks. Brown also added five rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

"Dejon has an unbelievable amount of potential," Hart said. "He is just beginning to get healthy. He has been fighting some nagging injuries. I am looking for big things from him the rest of the season."

The game was up-and-down from the beginning with a lot of turnovers, fouls and easy buckets. Aberdeen jumped out early on St. Frances, using an 8-0 run to build its biggest lead, 24-16, with 1:41 left in the first quarter.

But then the Panthers began one of their numerous runs to take back control in the second quarter, building a 43-34 halftime lead.

"For some reason in the second quarter, we lost control of our set offensive patterns, and that is when it started to go downhill," Hart said.

St. Frances guard Gordon Brown had a solid game, scoring nine points, with six assists and three blocks.

Aberdeen junior Erin Henderson had a team-high 16 points.

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