Class 3A boys basketball

No. 1 Randallstown ousted by Chopticon in OT, 73-70

Rams' Stukes scores 33, but win streak ends at 13

High Schools

March 14, 2003|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK - No. 1 Randallstown walked onto the Comcast Center floor last night hoping to add an exclamation point to its season. But Chopticon had a statement of its own to make.

Embarrassed in last year's state semifinals, the St. Mary's County school redeemed itself in overtime, outlasting the Rams, 73-70, in a Class 3A semifinal.

The Braves advanced to tomorrow's 3 p.m. championship game against Prince George's County's Friendly, which disposed of Montgomery County's Blake, 71-51, in the other semifinal.

Senior guard T. J. Carter scored 27 points - all in the second half and overtime - and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Braves (20-2), who were blown out in last year's semifinal by then No. 1 Douglass of Baltimore, 105-74. Towson University-bound forward Jonathan Pease added 19 and 12 rebounds for Chopticon.

Levi Stukes led all scorers with 33 for Randallstown (22-2), which had its 13-game winning streak stopped.

"They just out-hustled us," said Stukes, who also had a game-high nine turnovers. "It came down to some key plays, and they came through, and we came up short."

The Rams' streak and pursuit of a second state championship in three seasons were single-handedly wiped out by Carter, who sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer with 2.9 seconds left in regulation, then followed with six points in the four-minute extra period.

"We've been in this situation before, playing a Baltimore school, and we know their capabilities," said Carter, whose school will make its first title-game appearance in 30 years. "I think the second time around, everybody was looser and more confident."

Chopticon broke out to a 69-63 lead with 47.6 seconds remaining in overtime after Carter's sixth and final overtime point on a free throw.

A three-point play by Terrance Breaux brought Randallstown back to 69-66. The Braves pushed their advantage to 70-66 before a free throw by Breaux and a baseline drive by Stukes cut the margin to 70-69 with 14.5 seconds left.

After Chopticon's Charles Carter made one of two free throws, the Rams went inside, Torian Deane getting fouled with 3.7 seconds left. He made the score 71-70, sinking one of two free throws.

But Pease got behind the Rams' defense on an inbounds pass and was fouled with four-tenths of a second left. He made both free throws to clinch Chopticon's win.

"We didn't lose focus. We were just nervous," said Breaux, who had 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds for Randallstown. "We weren't used to that type of situation. We were panicking and rushing. ... [Rams coach Kim] Rivers tried to calm us down. That's what mainly happened, just rushing and not being patient."

In their Baltimore County-best 11th trip to the state final four, the Rams appeared destined for a third trip to the final, leading 53-44 with 4:44 remaining in regulation after a layup by Stukes. The Braves stormed back with an 8-0 charge, capped by a steal and layup by Carter.

"I felt we could win the game, and my teammates did, also," said T.J. Carter. "Nobody gave up. Instead of putting our heads down, everybody kept cheering and gave us momentum. We fed off that."

Said Rivers: "They could've folded when we were up nine or 10, [but] they hung in there and played smarter basketball."

R-Stukes 33, Ter. Breaux 17, To. Breaux 8, Raymond 5, Deane 7. Totals 25 13-21 70. C-T. Carter 27, Pease 19, Somerville 9, C. Carter 10, Williams 1, Reeves 7. Totals 25 19-25 73. Half: R, 25-22.

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