Bryant, Rams advance to 3rd straight final

No. 4 Randallstown 60 Wicomico 55

Boys basketball

March 10, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

College Park -- The Randallstown boys basketball team is going back for a third consecutive final and a chance at a third straight state title.

The No. 4 Rams beat Wicomico, 60-55, in the Class 2A state semifinals last night at Comcast Center, as senior Darrell Bryant scored 16 points and had 12 rebounds.

"It's really crazy right now the way that I feel," said Bryant, who is headed to James Madison on a football scholarship. "It's like my sophomore year [when the Rams won the first of back-to-back titles] all over again. Every year since then, it's been, state championship, state championship. Personally, it would mean a lot to me to be able to say I was one of the first to win three straight titles at Randallstown."

The Rams (23-3) will meet Fairmont Heights in the final at Comcast Center tonight at 6. The Hornets (20-5) from Prince George's County beat Frederick, 72-57, in last night's other 2A final.

Randallstown and Wicomico (23-4) met in last year's Class 2A final, with the Rams winning, 62-54. The first championship in Randallstown's streak was a Class 3A title in 2005.

The teams played cautiously to start the game last night, resulting in a 12-10 Wicomico lead after the first quarter.

A basket by the Rams' Alex Jackson to start the second quarter tied the score at 12. It was tied again at 14 and 16 before Devon Gale's three-pointer with 5:12 left in the half gave the Indians a 19-16 lead.

Gale, who finished with 21 points, hit another three to put the Indians back up 22-20 after the Rams had taken a 20-19 lead. But a dunk by Bryant with 2:47 left tied it again.

A put-back by Tyrai Johnson 27 seconds before the break gave the Indians a 27-24 halftime lead.

The Rams started running more in the third quarter, and Kim English, who was quiet in the first half, made back-to-back baskets.

Randallstown's Tione Womack later scored a basket and then assisted on a dunk by Bryant. Womack scored again, and the Rams had a 36-32 lead halfway through the quarter.

Womack set a fast tempo and Wesley Bennett scored the last two baskets of the quarter for a 44-36 Rams lead going into the final quarter.

Bennett's contributions on defense were lauded by his coach.

"Wesley Bennett's defense on Devon Gale down the stretch helped us control the tempo," said Rams coach Kim Rivers. "He's only 5-5, but has the biggest heart on our team."

Bennett finished with 10 points.

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