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Parkdale takes third title in 3rd final, 68-54


COLLEGE PARK -- Irvin Church scored 26 points, as hot-shooting Parkdale made it 3-for-3 in state tournament appearances by winning the Class 4A boys title with 68-54 victory over Springbrook last night.

The fourth-seeded Panthers (19-5) from Prince George's County hit 14 of 21 field-goal attempts in the second and third quarters to ease away from the second-seeded Blue Devils (18-6), who faded after a hot start led by Darren McLinton (20 points) and Tony Sawyer.

Parkdale also won 4A championships in 1971 and 1976. Springbrook of Montgomery County, which has won two 4A titles, last won the championship in 1988.

Church, who scored 30 in Parkdale's 62-60 upset of top-seeded defending champion Annapolis in Thursday's semifinals, missed his first three shots but came back with a driving jumper in the lane and a three-pointer from the top of the key to give Parkdale the first-quarter lead, 16-15. Sawyer and McLinton each hit a pair of three-point baskets to keep the Blue Devils close.

McLinton scored 12 points in the half, but Parkdale took a 35-32 lead at halftime, as Church had 11 and Anthony Thompson 10. The Panthers increased their advantage to 51-43 entering the fourth quarter and led by as many 14 from there.

Church, a senior guard, finished with eight three-point goals in two games -- one short of the boys tournament record set by Smithsburg's Eric Gerber in 1988.

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