Glen Burnie rolls, 58-29, earns another trip to states

Guest leads Gophers past Thomas Stone

Northwestern is up next

Class 4A East boys basketball

High Schools

March 07, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

After a slow-paced, uneventful first half solved little last night against visiting Thomas Stone, Glen Burnie senior guard Mitch Guest figured it was time to pick up the pace like the No. 10 Gophers always seem to do in the second half.

From there, the show was on.

The Gophers went on a decisive 21-4 run that stretched through most of the third quarter -- with Guest the catalyst at both ends -- and Glen Burnie coasted from there, beating the Cougars from Charles County, 58-29, to defend the Class 4A East regional title.

The program earned its fifth trip to the state tournament, and this marks the first time the Gophers (23-3) made it back-to-back. They will meet Northwestern at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Comcast Center in College Park.

Six words came from Guest, who finished with a game-high 20 points, toward his teammates at halftime: "We're not going out like this."

Who would have thought the halftime score was Thomas Stone 16, Glen Burnie 15?

"We came out a little nervous, but we weren't worried," said Guest, who added six rebounds, four assists and four steals to his game-high point total. "We've been a second-half team all year, so it's like just getting through the first half to get to the second half."

So after shooting 22 percent from the field (4-for-18) and making only five of 12 free throws, the Gophers maintained their defensive energy and found offensive accuracy in the third quarter.

Guest started it with a drive and finished with the left hand to give the Gophers a 17-16 lead on the opening possession of the pivotal third quarter, and they would never trail again. A three-pointer from junior forward Chris Schrader and two put-backs from senior forward Delayne Nelson also played big in the run, which came to an end on a three-pointer from Guest to make it 36-20 with 1:56 left.

The Gophers shot 53 percent for the quarter -- with Guest scoring seven points, handing out two assists and taking two charges to help make the difference.

"Tonight, I came with the mind-set that nobody was going to stop me or us," he said. "I wanted to make sure we got back to states."

After upsetting perennial power Thomas Johnson with a junior-laden team last season, the Gophers were happy to be at the Comcast Center last March. This time around, they expected to be there.

"From Day One -- Nov. 15 -- our goal was to get back to the Comcast Center, You get there - it's a two-day shootout and you take your chances," said Glen Burnie coach Mike Rudd.

Thomas Stone ended its season at 22-3.

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