It wasn't the same team he had been watching in practice the past couple weeks, but Glen Burnie coach Terry Bogle sure liked the way his Gophers looked in upsetting No. 4 Annapolis, 92-81, last night.
Shawn Mahaney's 4-for-4 three-point shooting in the fourth quarter and point guard William Brown's steady play throughout enabled the Gophers to take their home and season opener. It was the second straight win for the Gophers over the Panthers (1-1) at Glen Burnie.
"They surprised the heck out of me with all those shaved heads and white head bands," said Bogle.
When Bogle left school yesterday at 1:30 p.m., all his players had hair, but upon his return for the game, they had quite a new look.
He said the players shaved their heads as "a sign of unity, and after beating Annapolis here last year, they were confident they could do it again."
Mahaney (18 points) and Brown (21 points, six assists, four steals) are the only returning starters from last year, and they stepped up to show crucial leadership.
Glen Burnie took a 46-43 lead at the half, and never had more than a seven-point lead, and four times had a five-point lead on the Panthers. Annapolis stayed close with a hot hand at the foul line.
The Panthers were 15-for-19 on free throws in the first half and the Gophers were 2-for-5, all in the second half.
"I thought both teams played hard all the way," said Annapolis coach John Brady. "The fast pace was to our advantage and we didn't capitalize. Glen Burnie is much quicker than they were last year."
Glen Burnie maintained its slim lead in the third quarter with Annapolis tying it up three times. Don Thomas scored his only two points off an offensive rebound with 12 seconds left in the third quarter to give the Gophers a 64-63 lead into the final quarter.
Mahaney bombed in the first of his three-pointers to start the last quarter. The Gophers had a seven-point lead, 73-66, with a little more than four minutes remaining when Mahaney went on a binge.
With 2 1/2 minutes left, Mahaney hit three straight three-pointers, and Glen Burnie was coasting, 82-69.
"The last one Mahaney made he had a guy climbing all over him," said Brady, whose team was led by Rodney Watts (15 points, game-high 13 rebounds) and Kelsey Watkins (17 points).
Playing on a bad ankle, Larry Brown had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Panthers.
Mahaney's barrage pushed the lead to 15 points, 89-74, before Annapolis started putting the Gophers on the line and closed the gap to the final margin of 11.
"You can just see it when Shawn has the feeling," said Bogle.
"He doesn't miss. But I thought our whole team played well. We've got 10-11 guys who can play."
Twelve different Gophers scored, and besides Mahaney and Brown in double figures, Andre Bryan chipped in with 13 points.
The two Class 4A East Region contenders don't meet again until February, and Annapolis won last year's rematch in the Cap City.
"I hope we're playing like this in February," Bogle said.
Glen Burnie won 14 of its first 16 games last year before dropping four of the last seven, including the first game in the regional.