Annapolis' late surge puts away Mt. St. Joe


Tenth-ranked Annapolis blew open a close game in the final period last night by hitting 13 of its first 14 shots and scoring 36 points to roll past No. 11 Mount St. Joseph, 103-81.

The Panthers (4-1) took a 67-60 lead into the final eight minutes, then couldn't miss.

"Basically, we were getting layups and our inside people started beating them down the floor," said Annapolis coach John Brady, who said he was not surprised the Gaels (5-5) tried to run with his Panthers.

"St. Joe has a good team, and sometimes you get caught up in a game like that," he said. "Ronnie Johnson and Rodney Watts did a great job for us inside."

Johnson had a game-high 29 points and, according to Brady, has been "unbelievable" from the field.

"Ronnie has hit about 70 percent of his shots from the floor in our five games," Brady said of the 6-foot-4 junior.

Watts, who had 22 points and nine rebounds, scored eight in the fourth quarter.

It was the fourth victory in a row for the Panthers over St. Joe. Brady is a 1965 St. Joe alum. Annapolis last lost to St. Joe in 1986.

"That's a lot of points, 103, when you only hit five foul shots [5-for-9]," Brady said.

Both teams were coming off routs. St. Joe had pummeled Northeast, 70-36, on Monday. Annapolis was coming off a 104-63 romp over Severna Park on Friday.

Annapolis started slowly last night.

The Panthers took a 23-17 lead at the end of the first period with Watts scoring eight and grabbing five rebounds.

The Panthers built the lead to 11 points on two occasions early in the second period before St. Joe made a run.

Richard Dent (team-high 28 points, nine rebounds) and sophomore center Daniel Whye (16 points, game-high 12 rebounds) combined for 28 first-half points as the Gaels chased the winners.

Dent and Whye, who had seven rebounds in the first half, scored all but six of the Gaels' 23 second-period points, as they closed the gap at 42-40 at the break.

The Gaels, who out-rebounded the Panthers 37-32, did not get any closer than five points in the final period. Hot Annapolis was ahead 75-64 with 6:39 to go and by the three-minute mark the lead was stretched to 94-74.

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