Chenier scores 32 to propel Wilde Lake by Hammond, 77-69 Class 2A, Region II


Fourth-seeded Wilde Lake defeated host and second-seeded Hammond, 77-69, in the boys state Class 2A, Region II final last night.

The Wildecats (15-8) advance to the state semifinals at University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

Senior center Phil Chenier led Wilde Lake with a game-high 32 points and 15 rebounds. Joey Guyton added 20, as the Wildecats avenged two regular-season losses to the Golden Bears (13-8).

"The odds were against us, like at Overlea," said Chenier, speaking of his team's regional semifinal victory over the top seed Wednesday. "We came down and got the job done. We were physically and mentally prepared, and that's the same attitude we took for this one."

Trailing, 40-37, the Wildecats outscored Hammond, 16-6, to gain a 53-46 lead after three quarters, as Chenier and Guyton combined for eight.

Wilde Lake increased the lead to 62-50 with 4 minutes, 23 seconds remaining in the game. Chenier ended a possible Hammond run, blocking a shot and finishing the sequence with a dunk on the other end, that put the Wildecats up, 64-54.

The Golden Bears pulled to within 68-63 on a jumper by Kyle Jefferson with 1:26 left, but Wilde Lake hit seven of eight free throws the rest of the way.

"The two best in the region played tonight," said Hammond coach Jack Burke. "The difference was Chenier in the paint, and that was the only difference. We couldn't match up with him, and he decided that he would rough it up inside, and it paid off with a regional championship for them."

The Golden Bears jumped out to a 10-4 lead, but Wilde Lake cut the margin to 17-16, after the opening period.

Hammond had a 26-22 advantage midway through the second quarter, but with Chenier scoring six, the Wildecats outscored the Bears, 9-4, to take a 31-30 halftime lead.

With Chenier scoring four of Wilde Lake's first six of the second half, it maintained a one-point lead, 37-36, but baskets by Carl Williams and Adam Walker put Hammond in front, 40-37, with 5:03 remaining in the third quarter.

"I didn't play well in the first games," said Chenier. "Points really aren't everything. Good team play is really the key, and we got it tonight."

Williams led Hammond with 19 points. Jefferson added 18 and Walker 11.

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