Loch Raven and Western Tech traded baskets to start the Class 1A North Region semifinal, but the visiting Raiders went on a 13-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way in a 56-39 victory Tuesday.
Jayden Baker (13 points), Earl Jordan (12), Aundre Perkins (11) and Samuel Howard (nine) led Loch Raven (15-8) in scoring. Kole Beaman (19) led Western Tech (14-9).
Jordan’s biggest contribution came defending Beaman, the Wolverines’ explosive leading scorer.
“This is our second year playing them and Kole is an All-County first-team kid and we watched a lot of film and tried to pick up some tendencies that he had and so we gave Earl that assignment and Earl just did a phenomenal job today,” Loch Raven coach Brandon Thomas said.
Beaman had 16 points while Jordan, a sophomore, was in the game and he was often double- or triple-teamed.
“I knew what the matchup was and I looked at him on film and knew what my assignment was and I just stepped up and denied the whole game and played real good defense and I played aggressive with him, real physical,” Jordan said.
Jordan scored the first basket on a putback and he added a 3-pointer during the 13-0 run, while Baker and Ryan Lewis had four points each.
Eight points by Beaman helped the Wolverines claw to within 19-10 at the end of the quarter.
Beaman had four of his game-high five blocked shots in the second quarter but was held that period to two free throws.
Loch Raven’s defense forced 11 turnovers in the first half, helping open a 27-17 halftime lead.
“We saw that they executed real well, great ball movement, a very unselfish team, so we tried to just speed the game up a little bit and make them play at a fast pace and try to get into their bench a little bit,” Thomas said.
Western Tech responded by scoring the first six points of the second half on baskets by Brandon Key (eight points), Beaman and Jamabo William West.
Thomas called a timeout during the Wolverines’ comeback and his squad responded with a 3-pointer by Howard and a free throw by Makhi Abdulaheem and the lead stretched to 31-23.
“Playoff basketball is a game of runs in high school and I tell the kids all the time it’s all about how you respond when the other team makes a run. You have to respond with a run or you have to respond with a stop,” Thomas said.
Loch Raven outscored the Wolverines 9-5 the rest of the quarter, getting a 3-pointer from Tyler Brandon and four points from Baker and the lead was 40-28.
Any chance for a comeback was hurt by Western Tech going 4-for-12 from the free-throw line.
“They got us out of our rhythm from the jump,” Western Tech coach Frank Collins said. “Kole was getting to the right players and we weren’t hitting our free throws.”
Five Raiders scored in the fourth quarter with Perkins leading the way with eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“We preach sharing the ball and as long as we share the ball everybody will get their opportunities and it’s just about taking advantage of your opportunities,” Thomas said.
Said Collins: “They played very well. It’s back to the drawing board. We are losing eight seniors, so we will be starting over again, but we will be all right.”
Third-seeded Loch Raven advances to the regional finals at Pikesville on Thursday.
Loch Raven: Jayden Baker 13, Earl Jordan 12, Aundre Perkins 11, Samuel Howard 9, Ryan Lewis 4, Tyler Brandon 3, Roosevelt Gardner 2, Makhi Abdulaheem 2.
Western Tech: Kole Beaman 19, Brandon Key 8, Jamabo William West 4, Kai Parson 3, Jaylen Colyer 2, Lawrence Omonua 2, Kyle Grant 1.
Halftime: Loch Raven 27-17