Glenelg causes Atholton breakdown

Gladiators rally, win, 54-48, to reach West region final

Class 2A boys basketball

High schools

March 06, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Glenelg's last state final four appearance was in 1973.

Last night's come-from-behind 54-48 victory over Atholton before a big home crowd places the Gladiators within a game of going to the Comcast Center and that coveted final four.

The Gladiators (14-10), who have won five of their past seven games, must travel to Cumberland tomorrow night and win the Class 2A West regional final against Fort Hill, a 71-60 winner over Howard, in order to advance. Glenelg lost in the regional final two years ago.

Against Atholton (15-8), a team that had beaten Glenelg twice previously this season, the Gladiators showed a strong will to win and the physical presence to defensively dominate the second half. They held Atholton to four points in the third quarter.

Glenelg also got a big game from guard J.J. Marchany, who scored 23 points, including four three-pointers.

"J.J. really stepped up in the second half and talked us through our huddles," said Glenelg coach Jeremy Snyder. "But Dallas Davidson was the key in that half."

Davidson, a 6-foot-5, 240 pound junior center, scored 12 points and had six rebounds and was dominant defensively along with Tyler Moyer against Atholton's 6-4, 220-pound Jonas Vaitkus, who was held to two points in the second half.

Vaitkus finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, but 6-5 teammate Micah Mbah had 15 points and nine rebounds.

Davidson sat out the last 2:31 of the third quarter and the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, but he was again dominant in the final five minutes, scoring six points during an 11-2 Glenelg run that broke the game open and left the Gladiators with a 48-40 lead.

"Our big guys played great today. We've been talking to Dallas all week about coming to play for the playoffs," Marchany said. "We practiced help-side defense and fronted the big guys. The third quarter got a little rough, but we were just trying to get to Comcast Center. It meant a lot to me. We told ourselves at halftime that we have a great crowd here, and we're not going to lose. It got intense."

Atholton led 18-12 after one quarter and 29-21 at halftime, and appeared in control. But Glenelg played extremely aggressive and physical in the third quarter and took a 37-33 lead heading into the final period.

Said Atholton coach Jim Albert: "They outplayed us in the second half. We played hard but just couldn't score. They [Glenelg] were pretty physical and fouled a lot, but if it works, it works. I'm just tickled pink with how we played all year."

The Raiders were 3-20 last season.

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