Randallstown wins Balto. County title

Higgins takes spotlight as Rams top Eastern Tech in championship, 66-54

Boys basketball

High Schools

February 19, 2005|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

The first time he heard it, the sophomore was thrown off guard.

Now, every time home-game announcer Aaron Hawkins screams "HEEEEEERRRRE'S JOHNNNY!!!," Randallstown's Johnny Higgins tries to put on a show.

Higgins' name was called often during last night's 66-54 Baltimore County championship win over visiting Eastern Tech (18-5), as he scored a game-high 22 points, grabbed six rebounds and made four steals and four assists.

"I was surprised the first time he did that, and it kind of shook me up a little bit," Higgins said. "But now I'm comfortable with it. I hear that, and it puts me in a zone."

Higgins was particularly effective during the third quarter, when he scored 10 of his team's 14 points. His effort helped to quell a 14-2 run that had the Mavericks within seven points at 36-29. Randallstown led 31-15 at halftime and 45-31 entering the fourth quarter.

"Games are won and lost in spurts - they got theirs in the middle, but in the end, we got ours," Higgins said. "I try, as a point guard, to keep everyone together. That's my job, and that's the name of the game."

Contributions from Melvin Alaeze (11 points, six rebounds) and Marlon Johnson (nine points, five assists) paced the Rams to their 13th straight victory.

Randallstown's Dominic Venable had seven rebounds and seven points, including a crowd-pleasing, one-handed dunk. Charles Brown (16 points) and Carlos Megginson (nine) led the Mavericks.

The win raised Randallstown's record to 21-1. It also earned the program its eighth county title and its 10th straight 20-win season in as many years under coach Kim Rivers, who still considers his program one that is looking for area-wide respect.

"I just feel like we're the only team in the area that's only lost one game. Teams ahead of us have five, six losses," said Rivers, whose Rams go after their seventh regional crown and their third state title when the Class 3A North Region playoffs begin Friday.

"Over the last 10 years, we've shown that we're a legitimate basketball powerhouse," Rivers said. "But until we win state championships, we're put on the back burner. This is the first of our three goals: to win counties, regions and states. Maybe then we will get that respect."

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