Even without county scoring leader Dennis Edwards, Annapolis had more than enough firepower last night to shoot past host Severna Park, 87-65, in a physical Anne Arundel County 4A League game that at times resembled the football showdowns between the two archrivals.
No. 3 Annapolis (4-0, 3-0 league) won in part because Richard Naylor stepped in to score 21 points and grab 14 rebounds in place of Edwards, averaging 35 points, who had been suspended after a minor violation of school policy.
The Panthers also took much better care of the ball than did Severna Park, which committed 37 turnovers in its new up-tempo offense, and shut down the Falcons with a 1-3-1 zone defense in the third quarter.
Severna Park was trailing, 38-35, with just over a minute left in the half, but Delmore Howard and Naylor led a 6-0 spurt that pushed the Panthers on top, 44-35.
Then, with Severna Park (1-3, 0-2) struggling against the zone, Annapolis used a 16-7 run highlighted by two three-pointers by Rob Wooster to put the game away.
The winners led, 68-47, with 10 minutes to play.
"Annapolis' reputation has never been built on one player," said coach John Brady of Edwards, who scored 50 points in a 110-101 victory over Parkdale last week. "Being down a player might affect other schools, but not Annapolis.
"Naylor did an excellent job. Everybody did an excellent job. They had to in order to beat a team of this caliber by 22 points."
Said Severna Park coach Wayne Mook, "We turned the ball over too many times -- case closed."
"From our standpoint, the first half was good because we stayed with them. John [Brady] was worried and went to the 1-3-1," Mook said. "That took away our running game and forced us to be patient, which we weren't."
Annapolis had a game-high 23 points from guard Delmore Howard, plus 14 from Wooster and eight each from Ahmed Middleton and Jon Holden.
Severna Park was hurt by the lack of production from its leading scorer, guard Scott Brown (17 ppg), who scored seven of his nine points after Annapolis built a 60-42 lead. The Falcons had 12 points each from Kevin Schultz and Darrick Moran.