58-56 loss ends Glen Burnie's final hope

Northwestern's Green comes up big to thwart Guest, No. 7 Gophers

Class 4A boys basketball

High Schools

March 12, 2004|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK - At Tuesday's press luncheon, Glen Burnie coach Mike Rudd said his team's Class 4A state semifinal game against Northwestern of Prince George's County would be a matchup between the Gophers' speed and the Wildcats' size.

Last night, Northwestern's size had the edge, especially that of Jeff Green.

Green, a 6-foot-8 forward headed to Georgetown, swiped away Mitch Guest's shot in the waning seconds, lifting Northwestern past the No. 7 Gophers, 58-56, at Comcast Center.

The Wildcats advanced to tomorrow night's title game against Springbrook of Montgomery County, a 59-58 winner over No. 4 Woodlawn.

The Gophers, one of two area teams returning to Comcast Center from last year's final four, hoped their experience would be enough to get them to the title game for the first time since 1961. Instead, Anne Arundel County's state-title drought was extended to 14 years (Annapolis won the Class 4A championship in 1990).

"I'm proud of how my kids left it all out on the floor, like I asked them to all year," said Glen Burnie coach Mike Rudd, whose team finished 23-4. "We didn't lose tonight. We represented our county well."

Trailing by seven points midway in the fourth quarter, Glen Burnie got within 58-56 on a layup by Guest with 14.4 seconds remaining. The Wildcats missed the first shot in a one-and-one with 10.3 seconds left, and Glen Burnie called time with 6.1 seconds left.

With the perimeter defended, Guest went to his left and drove to the basket, but Green was waiting to deny Glen Burnie's hopes with his 10th blocked shot. He also finished with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals.

"They forced to me to the basket, so I went to the basket," said Guest, who scored 13 points and had three assists. "I went up, I thought it was goaltending, but that how it goes sometimes."

Glen Burnie senior center Branden Albert led all scorers with 17 points and seven rebounds. Chaise Lancaster scored 13 for Northwestern (16-9), and Leslie McKinstry had 11 points and six rebounds.

The Gophers, who lost to Magruder in last season's state semifinals, had things going their way late in the third quarter, taking a six-point advantage, with Green on the bench with three fouls.

G-Guest 13, Albert 17, Nelson 8, Schrader 6, Matthews 4, Wright 3, Snell 2, Brooks 3. Totals 24 5-7 56.

But Northwestern wiped out the Gophers' lead with a 7-0 run before Albert's basket in the paint gave Glen Burnie the lead back at 44-43 at period's end.

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