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Thomas Johnson blocks out Broadneck, 46-44


COLLEGE PARK -- Everything was right for a dramatic finish by Jason Smith and No. 7 Broadneck, but 6-foot-8 sophomore Terence Morris wouldn't go along with it as Thomas Johnson held on for a 46-44 victory over the Bruins in the 3A state semifinals at Cole Field House.

Morris' monster block of Smith with time running out put Thomas Johnson (24-1) of Frederick County in tomorrow's 3 p.m. final at College Park against Randallstown.

Broadneck finishes at 22-3 after a fourth period in which they held the Patriots to only one field goal and had the ball in Smith's hands at the end.

The Patriots made 19 of 27 from the line for the game compared to 7 of 10 by the Bruins, and Broadneck shot only 33 percent (16-for-48) from the floor.

Down 45-44 and with the ball, Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek called for a timeout and the scoreboard clock showing 31 seconds.

Smith, the Bruins' four-year starter and all-time leading scorer, bounced the ball until the clock ran down to four seconds and drove into the paint for what appeared to be a game-winning layup. But Morris, who had 18 points and eight rebounds, swatted away Smith's shot with two seconds left.

Thomas Johnson coach Tom Dickman, who has won five state titles in 21 years, said, "Those are the kinds of things Terence does for us."

Smith, who led all scorers with 25 points, said he "didn't see him [Morris] coming."

Kazmarek, whose Bruins lost 61-48 to Thomas Johnson in their only other final four appearance in 1986, said that the block "was about a foot above the rim. We couldn't have been in a better position to win the game. It was our best against their best, and he [Morris] made the big play, but Jason got us there."

Smith drew his fourth foul with 4:33 left in the third period and didn't play again until the final period. In his absence, Thomas Johnson's 29-20 halftime lead grew to 40-28 going into the final eight minutes.

Broadneck went on a 9-0 run with Smith scoring seven of the points to start the final period.

"We went to a smaller lineup to pick up the pace," said Kazmarek, who made a key move putting 6-3 junior Renardo Walker on Morris, who scored from the perimeter, inside and from the line (6-for-8). Walker held Morris to a field goal (a dunk in the third) and four free throws (one in final period) in the second half.

Jamaine Young's steal set up Smith's acrobatic left-handed shot in the paint that left him on the floor with the game tied at 42.

Jason Williams (13 points, six rebounds) scored the Patriots' only field goal of the period with 1:55 to go to give his team a 44-42


A free throw by Morris with 1:13 remaining put the Patriots up by three, but Smith answered with a basket.

After the big snuff by Morris, Rich Pfeil was fouled on the play and hit the first of two free throws for the final margin of victory. Smith's desperation half-court shot fell short as time ran out.

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