Rams pull out win against New Town

No. 5 Randallstown 70 New Town 62

Boys basketball

December 20, 2007|By Stefen Lovelace | Stefen Lovelace,Sun reporter

The Randallstown boys basketball team has been a perennial favorite in Baltimore County, winning five Class 2A state titles in coach Kim Rivers' 14 seasons.

While the Rams play the favorite, New Town portrays the new kid on the block, winning a Class 1A state title and defeating Randallstown last season.

"In last year's game, we got too hot-headed and started rushing too much," Randallstown forward Alex Jackson said. "We were playing their pace instead of playing smart."

The Rams learned from last season's mistakes and defeated the Titans, 70-62, last night in an exciting back-and-forth game.

Randallstown won with a team effort, getting strong scoring efforts from Jackson (20 points), Tione Womack (12) and Terard Ansar (12). More importantly, they set the tempo, playing fast-paced transition basketball.

"We wanted to play at our tempo. Once we were able to get the ball up and push it, we thought we'd be in a good position to win the game," Rivers said. "We don't have a superstar this year. This year, whoever's hot at the time has the green light to do what they know how to do."

The No. 5 Rams (3-1) led comfortably at 30-21 midway through the second quarter but saw that lead evaporate thanks to missed free throws and inspired play by New Town guard Stuart Clarke, who scored a game-high 30 points. The score was tied at 30 at halftime after Clarke's three-pointer right before the buzzer.

The Titans (2-2) opened the second half with an 11-0 run, including a coast-to-coast, up-and-under layup by Clarke. He was also fouled, giving his team a three-point play and shifting the momentum in New Town's favor.

Randallstown could have weathered the storm had it made its free throws. During New Town's 20 straight points, the Rams missed 10 straight shots from the foul line and finished the game just16-for-34.

New Town was successful in its half-court sets, getting Clarke and Kendrick Brown (12 points) open off screens, but toward the end of the third quarter, it started to get into a transition battle with Randallstown, which ended up playing into the Rams' favor.

"When we get out and run, it's the best thing for us," Jackson said. "We've got [big men] that are almost like guards. Our whole thing is to get out and run."

That helped Randallstown close the gap, tying the score at 54 midway through the fourth quarter. They were able to hold off New Town from there.

stefen.lovelace@baltsun.com

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