The Edmondson and New Town boys basketball teams were making it hard on each other to score baskets in a game at Friday's 18th Annual Basketball Academy, with tough defense having the bigger say.
Titans guard Danny Shand was able to find his offense at just the right time. The senior captain scored all of his game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, helping No. 14 New Town rally for a 49-44 upset win over No. 4 Edmondson at Morgan State.
New Town didn't make its first field goal until there was 5:06 left to play in the first half, and the team had scored only 22 points going into the fourth quarter. Their defense kept them close, however, and Shand provided the fourth quarter offense.
"A lot of shots weren't falling in the first half and the third quarter, and coach [Mike Daniel] said this was the time the big players step up — the fourth quarter," Shand said. "So I had to show up and take the game over."
Senior guard Kenny Sherrod added 15 points and sophomore guard Devin Smith scored 12 as New Town, which beat Aberdeen 50-35 in the Academy opener on Thursday, improved to 10-3 on the season. Edmondson, which led 35-27 with 5:45 to play, is now 9-2.
In addition to the tough defense being played by both teams, the game had little flow, with 82 free throws taken.
A drive to the basket from Shand, cutting the Edmondson lead to 35-29 with 5:37 left, started a 12-0 run for the Titans — a big 3-pointer from Sherrod in the mix — that gave them a 39-35 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
The Titans closed out the win at the free throw line, making their last 10 in the final 3:05 to play. Shand made six of them and Smith added the other four. Defensively, New Town limited Edmondson to only three field goals in the fourth quarter.
The Red Storm's performance at the free throw line (21 of 43) proved costly.
"Defensively, we made some adjustments [in the fourth quarter] and we kept the ball in Danny's hands," Daniel said. "He wasn't having a great game — he made some bad decisions — but he's a senior. And, just as much as me telling him what's wrong, he's got to understand, and feel it and work it out, because he's the one on the floor."
Edmondson got 11 points from Sean Burke and Robert McClain and Joshua Garrett each scored nine. The Red Storm will try to bounce back on Saturday, when they take on Eleanor Roosevelt at 1:45 p.m. in the tournament's final day.
(at Morgan State University)
No. 14 New Town 49, No. 4 Edmondson 44
E – Coles 5, McClain 9, Garrett 9, Burke 11, Wattie 3, Lassiter 7. Totals: 11 21-43 44.
NT – Smith 12, Sherrod 15, Mack 1, Jones 2, Hamler 1, Fulton 2, Shand 16. Totals: : 9 29-39 49.
Half: E, 22-15