The last time the Bel Air and C. Milton Wright basketball teams met, back on Jan. 27, the Bobcats walked away with the win, knocking off the CMW boys, 79-66, but Friday's 3A North Section II opening-round contest had another result entirely. The host Mustangs sent Bel Air packing with a 66-36 loss.
"The last time we played them, we were content to settle for the outside shot," CMW head coach Jon Stefanides said. "We were shooting really cold, and Bel Air was shooting really hot, so we lost that one. Tonight, the game plan was to find open lanes, drive inside, attack the basket from start to finish, and attack defensively, too."
Playing in front of a packed gymnasium, one side of which was divided into two raucous groups of students representing the two teams, the fourth-seeded Mustangs came out swinging, recording three dunks in the first five minutes of the game.
"That was when I knew that the guys were here to play," Stefanides said. "The three dunks at the beginning of the game showed me that the intensity level was way up, and I knew that if we could keep it up, we'd be in good shape."
By the halftime break, the Mustangs had run out to a 36-15 advantage over the fifth-seeded Bobcats.
The third quarter saw CMW outscore Bel Air, 21-7, to establish a 57-22 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Mustangs' Connor Bays led all scorers with a 24-point effort, while his brother and teammate, Corey Bays, scored 14 points, and led CMW in rebounds with eight. Mychal Stefanides had 10 points, as well as team-best totals of six assists and four steals. Kyle Harkins scored six points, and Henry Cuffee, whom Stefanides pointed out as the sparkplug of the Mustangs' 30-point win, had four tallies.
"Henry only had four points, but he really came through for us at both ends tonight," Stefanides said. "He brought a lot of energy to the game, and we needed that kind of play."
Bel Air's Jahari Carmichael had a team-best 11 points, while J.D. Bruck scored seven points in the loss.
CMW will play at top-seeded Dundalk at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the 3A North Section II semifinal.
The teams that advanced were scheduled to be played Monday but they were postponed until Tuesday when schools were closed Monday because of the snow.
Fallston edges Elkton
In a tight 2A East Section I opening-round matchup at Elkton on Friday, the fifth-seeded Fallston Cougars emerged with a 55-53 win over the fifth-seeded Golden Elks.
Travis Greenwood scored a team-high 22 points for the Cougars, and teammate Jordan Greenwood scored 13 points.
In the Section I semifinals, Fallston is slated to play a 7 p.m. Tuesday road matchup with top-seeded North East.
Edgewood over North Harford
The sixth-seeded Edgewood Rams got past the opening round of the 3A North Section II on Friday by defeating third-seeded host North Harford, 57-53.
Edgewood led, 31-23, at halftime. North Harford managed to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but could not pull ahead.
Edgewood's Keyon Williams scored a team-high 17 points, pulled down four rebounds and registered three steals. Kevin Ringgold scored 15 points, while also posting team-leading totals of 10 assists and seven rebounds. Tyrone McKissett had 10 points, two rebounds and two steals in the victory, while Roderick Harrison put up eight points, three rebounds, three assists and a team-high five steals. Immanuel Gladden-Stokes notched seven points and four rebounds for the Rams, while Ryan Burgess and Dorian Eure both had a pair of rebounds.
North Harford's Brett Hurley had a game-best 19 points and led the Hawks in rebounds with six, while Zach Stike had 12 points in the loss. Nic Hammer netted nine points and Collin Keating dished out a team-best five assists.
Edgewood is slated to play second-seed and host Aberdeen on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Section II semifinals.
Aberdeen moves on
Second-seeded Aberdeen moved on in the post-season Friday night with a 78-46 drubbing of visiting second-seed Patapsco in the opening round of the 3A North Section II tournament.
The Eagles' top scorer was Jaleel Gibson, who netted 20 points.
Aberdeen is scheduled to host sixth-seeded Edgewood on Tuesday in the sectional semifinal.
Harford Tech over Rising Sun
Harford Tech, the third seed in the 2A East Section I tournament, kept its season alive Friday with a 56-36 home-court win over sixth-seeded Rising Sun.
Harford Tech led, 31-20, at halftime.
Darius Dangerfield led the Harford Tech assault, putting up 13 points, five steals and six rebounds. Tyler Mister scored 12 points for the Cobras, while Fred Gordon had 12 points and six rebounds. Elijah Council netted seven points and grabbed a team-best 14 rebounds.
In Tuesday's Section I semifinal, Harford Tech is set to play second-seeded host Patterson Mill at 7 p.m.
Havre de Grace out
Sixth-seeded Havre de Grace was eliminated from the 1A East Section I tournament on Friday with a 68-57 loss to third-seeded host Colonel Richardson.
Jordan Hawthorne had 22 points for Havre de Grace.