Wearing a uniform with another player’s name on the back, Towson sophomore Ben Boas made a name for himself in his first varsity game.
“I pulled him up from my JV team,” coach Ryan Holzman said after watching Boas can three three-pointers in 83 seconds in the fourth quarter to lead the Generals (10-13) to a 58-53 victory over host Lansdowne (13-8) in the first round of the Class 3A North Region boys basketball playoffs.
Boas’outside shooting marksmanship was complemented by stellar inside play from Derrick Shoats (14 points) and Hammond Dugan (12).
Boas (11 points), who scored his only other points on a putback early in the third quarter, did what he was supposed to do.
“I’ve been working on it [three-point shooting] all summer and that was my role freshman year on JV, but this year I stayed on JV and I had to adapt to more of a four [power forward] which wasn’t really my position,” Boas said. “But, I got called up and I knew my job was to shoot threes, so I’ve been working at it.”
After a three-pointer by Lansdowne’s Jerald Hurt put the Vikings up, 43-37, with 5:38 left in regulation, Boas made his first trey with 5:20 remaining to cut the lead in half.
After a free throw by Shoats, Boas canned another trey with 4:18 left, giving the Generals a 44-43 lead.
He hit his third three-pointer with 3:57 left, stretching the lead to 47-43.
That third trey was almost as many as he had all season on JV.
“This year, I had like four the whole season because I played down low,” he confessed.
Trailing by six, the Vikings refused to quit just like they didn’t in their 49-48 win over the Generals during the regular season.
“It was kind of like the first game, but down the stretch we made the plays,” Lansdowne coach Greg Karpers said.
A free throw by Shoats and conventional three-point play by Shoats stretched the lead to 51-43 with 3:09 left and capped a 14-0 run for the Generals.
The Vikings clawed back with a pair of free throws by Jordan Minix, but Towson upped the lead to 53-45 after a basket by Shoats with 1:59 left.
Two free throws by by Teddy Wilson (13 points) and a three-point play by Chris Jones with 1:28 to go cut the lead to 53-50.
Dugan’s foul shot made it 54-50, but an acrobatic three-point play by Wilson with 1:28 remaining cut the lead to 54-53.
Lansdowne didn’t score again and the Generals sealed the win with a free three each from Shoats and Dugan and two free throws by Akosa Nwadiogbu.
Lansdowne started strong in both the first and second halves.
They raced out to a 12-5 lead in the first 6:05, keyed by three-pointers from Tayvon Williams (12 points) and Jones (10).
Towson crept back and only trailed 24-23 at the half.
But Lansdowne’s Tony Green, playing in his fifth varsity game after being promoted from JV, helped the Vikings extend the lead early in the third quarter.
Green, who had three blocked shots, three points and an assist in the second quarter, had four points, four rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal in the third quarter.
Green’s putback with 5:45 left in the third quarter gave the Vikings a 30-23 lead.
“His first touch on varsity he had his back to the basket and turned and went right up and scored,” Karpers said. “He fits right in.”
Towson employed a full-court press and went on an 8-0 run and led 31-30 after Kaire Trott’s short jumper with 3:27 left.
“We had Teddy [Wilson] in foul trouble, but we had four guards out there capable of handling the press, but we didn’t do a good job of handling it,” said Karpers, noting Wilson averaged 15 points and eight rebounds a game as a guard.
The Towson defense set the stage for the fourth quarter showcase shooting of sophomore Boas and he delivered.
“I just thought, do whatever works for the team,” Boas said.
The loss was the seventh in the last nine games for the Vikings, who started the season with victories in 11 of their first 12 games.
“We showed up in every game,” Karpers said. “We had some great breaks go for us when we were 11-1 and the schedule did get tougher with Kenwood, Franklin, Perry Hall and Woodlawn.”