Buoyed by strong inside games and relentless quickness, both Annapolis teams advanced to the finals of the Capitol City Classic yesterday.
Ronnie Johnson led seven players in double digits with 20 points, as the 10th-ranked Annapolis boys (5-1) defeated Eastern Tech (2-4) of Baltimore County, 108-55.
The Running Panthers, who had nine three-pointers and a school-record 34 steals, meet T. C. Williams of Northern Virginia in the 3 p.m. final today.
T. C. Williams (5-0), ranked No. 11 by The Washington Post, beat Bethesda-Chevy Chase (2-3) of Montgomery County, 83-58, in the other boys game, as four Titans scored in double figures.
Michael Horton led the way with 22 points, followed by Jason Easley (19), Raymond Jackson (17) and Devone Bolds (12).
Shannon Henderson and Cristi Samaras combined for 37 points, as the Annapolis girls (2-4) romped over South River (3-4), 70-45. Glen Burnie (0-4) was no match for Frederick Douglass of Prince George's County to set up a 1 p.m. final today.
Douglass (4-1) rolled, 75-21, with 6-foot Drewana Bey, who has signed with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, scoring points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
The Annapolis boys missed their first seven shots, but then hit 13 of the next 17 and went on a 26-3 run to take a 33-8 lead at the end of the first period. Eastern never recovered.
Annapolis kept the pressure on. Coach John Brady used all 14 players, 12 of whom scored. By the half, it was 61-22.
The Panthers had 26 steals in the first half, with Rodney Watts and Damion Day combining for 11 of them, and out-rebounded the Mavericks, 51-30, for the game.
Watts had only eight points, but had 13 rebounds and six steals. Day had 11 points, seven rebounds and six steals.
Joining Johnson and Day in scoring double figures were Rico Burke (12), Lewis Day (11), and John Downs, Rico Lee and Len Barber (10 each).
Wardell Selby had 13 points, 13 rebounds and a game-high eight steals for Eastern Tech.
The Panthers last won their tournament in 1990 over Poly, 72-56, and dropped last year's final to Christian Brothers of New Jersey, 83-47.
"T.C. [Williams] is pretty talented, but we can beat them," said Brady, who predicts a fast-paced championship game.
"They [T.C.] all handle the ball pretty good and push the ball up the floor pretty good. They run a lot of fast breaks, run like us."
On the girls side, Annapolis put South River away early. Playing without three starters, including leading scorer and rebounder Pam Patterson, who was out with an injured ankle, the Hawks scored only two points late in the second period.
Jessica Marion, who led the Hawks with 15 points, hit a short jumper with 1:06 left in the half for South River's only score in the second period.
Annapolis took a 43-12 lead to halftime and coasted to victory with coach Dave Griffith clearing his bench by the third period.
"I even got a couple JV kids into the game, and we left Shannon in because a couple people were here to see her," said Griffith.
With coaches from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina at Wilmington looking on, Henderson, 6-1, scored a game-high 19 and had 14 rebounds.
Samaras scored 18, and the Panthers got nine points each from Stephy Samaras and Janelle Queen.
"They'll be tough, but I think we can beat them," said Griffith of his opponent in today's Cap City final. "Henderson against Bey should be quite a matchup."
Bey was one of three in double digits as the Eagles beat Glen Burnie in the first game of the day. Torri Scott scored 16 points, and Kiesha Butler added 12, as Douglass raced out 42-10 at the half.
Bridget Davis led Glen Burnie with eight points. The Gophers meet South River in the consolation.