Winters Mill falls short in semifinals

Wicomico 70 Winters Mill 61

Boys basketball Class 2a

High Schools

March 11, 2006|By RICH SCHERR | RICH SCHERR,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK -- For 7 minutes, 27 seconds last night at Comcast Center, Winters Mill ruled the world of Maryland high school boys basketball.

Then, reality set in.

Despite scoring 16 straight points during a lengthy third-quarter run, and turning a deficit that had been as many as 17 points into a brief lead, the No. 14 Falcons soon cooled down and succumbed to taller, more athletic Wicomico in a 70-61 loss in the Class 2A state semifinals.

"At the end of the day, we missed some shots that we normally make," said Falcons coach Dave Herman, whose team is in just its third season at the varsity level. "We came down here fully expecting to win."

The Indians (24-3), making their 18th appearance in the state semifinals since 1948, will face Randallstown, a winner over Potomac in the other semifinal, for the Class 2A title tonight at 6. It will mark what's expected to be the final career game for coach Butch Wall after 40 years and 580 career wins.

Winters Mill (23-3), which was trying for Carroll County's first state basketball title since 1947, relied on its perimeter shooting for most of the night, making nine three-pointers. Three straight came during the third-quarter stretch, when the Falcons picked up their intensity on both ends of the court and took a 44-43 lead on Devon Lesniak's driving layup near the end of the quarter.

"I think the kids did a really good job spreading the floor," Herman said. "We kind of went away from some of our sets and just sort of went with our full-out motion. That really worked for us."

The lead then grew to four points on Jimmy Dorsey's three-pointer to open the fourth quarter, but Wicomico - which had gone more than eight minutes without a field goal - quickly regained control by beating the Falcons off the dribble and driving to the basket, as well as scoring easy baskets off turnovers.

"They got their confidence back," Herman said. "They're a good team, and they got a little rhythm in the fourth quarter."

Dorsey finished with 15 points and Brett Burrier 13 for Winters Mill, which had won 11 straight. Dorsey, one of six underclassmen on the Falcons' roster, said that the experience will pay dividends next season.

"I want to get back. I hope we will," Dorsey said. " I think we have a chance next year."

Wicomico, champion of the 18-team Bayside Conference, used its superior quickness and size to take control late in the first quarter.

Led by guards Tyrai Johnson (17 points) and Josh Bright (16), the Indians overcame an early 14-12 deficit by scoring nine straight points, capped by a three-pointer by Bright to take a 21-14 lead.

Wicomico did the bulk of its damage on drives to the basket and second-chance opportunities, but Winters Mill relied mainly on its perimeter shooting, which ran hot and cold throughout the game.

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