Feb 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of a Nike logo basketball during the game between the Utah Utes and the Southern California Trojans at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
March is such an exciting time of the year for all types of basketball fans. Maryland Terrapins fans are pumped up about the NCAA Tournament, which starts this week, but the youngsters have taken center stage at the XFINITY Center the past few days. The Maryland High School basketball state championships came to a close last night and the local schools represented very well.
In the early game, the New Town Titans (Baltimore County) battled the No. 2 Lake Clifton Lakers (Baltimore City) for the Class 1A crown. New Town got there by knocking off Joppatowne in the semifinals, while Lake Clifton took down Allegany. As I’ve said before, New Town is a team that has been on the rise as of late. On the other hand, Lake Clifton has been a perennial power in Baltimore City for some time now.
In the onset, the Titans got off to an early start. They led the game by as much as 13 points. Then, in the second half, the Lakers went on a little run of their own. Senior forward Derrick Green led the charge for Lake Clifton, chipping in a game-high 18 points.
However, New Town did not crumble in the face of adversity. They were able to fend off the Lakers, thanks to some clutch late free throws by junior guard Matthew Johnson. Also contributing to the effort for the Titans was junior forward Quincy Roche who put up 15 points to go along with nine rebounds.
The Lakers were the favorites heading into the game, but that’s why the game isn’t played on paper. New Town just showed up to play and deserved to win, bringing home their second state championship in school history.
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In the next contest, the No. 6 Oakland Mills Scorpions (Howard County) took on the No. 4 Patterson Clippers (Baltimore City) for the 2A title. This game featured two of the best teams in the area, with some of the best players in the area.
Similar to New Town, Oakland Mills got off to a fast start and they never really looked back, taking an 11 point lead into the halftime break.
Leading the way for the Scorpions was of course, St. Frances transfer Will Robinson, Jr., who racked up 26 points for the game. This had to be a special moment for the senior playing in his final high school basketball game. Fellow senior Mamadou Ndiaye chipped in 15 points for the Scorpions, while Tre’Von Hopkins and Daniel Kiely added 11 and 10 points respectively.
As always, Patterson was led by the dynamic duo of Dereck Oliver and Gary Blackston. Oliver scored a team-high 22 points and Blackston added 18. However, they just couldn’t seem to receive much help from the rest of the Clippers.
Oakland Mills went on to win by the score of 64-55, claiming just the school’s second state championship. The last time the Scorpions did so was back in 1990.
In the final contest of the evening, the Meade Mustangs (AA County) went up against Bethesda-Chevy Chase for the Class 4A championship. The Mustangs came into the game boasting a 26-2 overall record and they definitely played like a team of that caliber in this one.
Meade dominated this one from the opening tip, leading the Barons by double digits at the half. Twelve different players scored for the Mustangs. They were led by Josh Qualls, who recorded 16 points. Bruce Spruell also tossed in ten points.
The Mustangs were just aggressive throughout, getting to the free throw line early and often, and more importantly converting. Bethesda-CC was just no match for Meade, who won by a convincing 80-45 rout. This was Meade’s first state title in program history. They also brought the crown back to Anne Arundel County for the first time since 1990, when Annapolis won it all.