The New Era boys basketball team took charge of Baltimore City’s Division III right from the start this season. Nothing changed in the championship game against Reginald Lewis on Wednesday.
Senior forward LaRon Gilmer dominated inside, scoring a game-high 27 points and adding 12 rebounds as the Jaguars came away with a 57-47 win over the Falcons at Coppin State University.
“It feels good and I’m glad we got the championship in my final year. My teammates were feeding me the ball inside and I worked real hard to get this,” Gilmer said.
It’s the first league championship for New Era, which finished 15-5 overall and went 13-1 in league play during the regular season.
The Jaguars took hold of the game with a 17-0 run in the second quarter, turning a one-point deficit into a 33-17 advantage that was able to stand, despite a furious fourth quarter rally from Reginald Lewis.
The Falcons, who got 13 points each from Corey Adams and Myles Dawson, cut New Era’s 17-point third quarter lead to 50-44 with two minutes to play before the Jaguars got baskets from Shawn Matthews and Gilmer to restore order.
Gilmer scored 10 points in the run, Ahmad Spriggs added a 3-pointer and the Jaguars’ pressure defense also played big. Gilmer finished with 12 points in the quarter with New Era taking a 35-22 lead into the halftime break.
New Era won both regular-season games against Reginald Lewis. The Jaguars claimed a tight 62-61 home win on Dec. 15 and then had an easier time at Lewis with a 72-58 victory on Feb. 10.