Glen Burnie upsets T. Johnson, 70-69

Sherrod, Guest help hand Pats, departing Dickman first loss after 23 victories

Class 4A East boys basketball

High Schools

March 08, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

FREDERICK -- An overflow crowd rushing onto the gym floor was expected last night at Thomas Johnson. After all, this was the final home game for the Patriots' record-setting coach, Tom Dickman, with another visit to the state tournament anticipated.

But the visiting team, No. 15 Glen Burnie, stayed basket for basket with the undefeated Patriots and then, when it was time to win, found the right path for a 70-69 upset in the Class 4A East regional final.

With 23 points and 10 rebounds from senior forward Antonio Sherrod, four straight free throws by junior Mitch Guest in the closing seconds, and a yes-it-can-be-done effort for all 32 minutes, the Gophers (19-5) captured their fourth regional title.

And to the delight of their small band of red-clad fans, the Gophers will be off to the state semifinals at the Comcast Center in College Park. They will play the winner of the Magruder-Springbrook 4A West regional final at 7 p.m. Thursday.

"We've had our struggles through the year, but we're getting together as the season went on, and we just said we're not going out without a fight," said Guest, who finished with 17 points and seven assists. "We've been in this situation before, and it was just a matter of doing it and not being scared."

The Gophers were up against more than just an excellent basketball team that went into the game 23-0. The Patriots, state runners-up last season, were looking to add to the school's 14 regional titles, and Dickman, who is leaving to coach at Hood College, was expecting to add to his 592 career wins, best in Maryland's public schools.

Instead, the night turned out to be the Gophers'.

Close throughout and tied at 58 with 3:33 left, the visitors went on an 8-3 run to take a 66-61 lead into the final minute. Then, Guest hit four straight free throws to help offset two three-pointers by Thomas Johnson senior Demetrius Bryant to send the Gophers home to Anne Arundel County with the win.

Junior center Brandon Albert also played a big part with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Really, it took a little bit from everyone.

"These kids never cease to amaze me," said Glen Burnie coach Mike Rudd. "We were not intimidated by their 23-0 record, not intimidated by their No. 3 ranking in the state; and also knowing it was [Tom Dickman's] last game at home. After beating Frederick [in the semifinal], we knew we could play with them. This was huge."

Sherrod scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and proved to be the difference.

"Nobody believed we could do it," he said. "We came to their home and beat them. We kept our composure and said `Let's not lose.' We kept it as a team."

GB--Sherrod 23, Guest 17, M. Newton 10, C. Newton 5, Albert 10, Larkins 3, Snell 1, Lawson 1. Totals: 25 15-25 70. TJ--Bryant 20, Richard 24, Edmonds 11, Ledyard 6, Gaeng 3, Smallwood 5. Totals: 24 10-16 69. Half: TJ, 30-29.

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