With the way the Anne Arundel County season has gone, it comes as no surprise that Meade upset No. 14 Glen Burnie, 59-57, yesterday to leave the matchup for the first county championship game unsettled.
Meade's 6-foot-3 Elijah Thurmon beat Glen Burnie's 1-3-1 zone consistently to score 10 points in each half and grab a game-high 12 rebounds. The Mustangs' Mike Royster and Chris Myers sank four straight free throws in the final 15 seconds and Deshawn Brown chipped in 12 points and four assists.
The Mustangs (12-10, 9-7) gave coach Butch Young career win No. 399 (399-266, 29 years) with at least one playoff game left.
Both the North and South divisions will go down to the final day tomorrow. The county championship game has been moved to Wednesday at Old Mill because of make-ups.
Glen Burnie (16-5 overall) is tied with No. 17 North County (13-8) for first in the North Division at 11-4. If the Gophers defeat Chesapeake (7-13, 4-10) at home, they win the division by virtue of the tiebreaker step No. 3 (best overall percentage, holiday tournament games excluded) no matter what North County does.
North County has to win at home over Old Mill (8-12, 6-8) and hope that the Cougars upset Glen Burnie.
Tenth-ranked Broadneck (14-6, 12-3) needs a victory at home over Severna Park (6-15, 2-13) to take the South Division. A Bruins loss, coupled with a No. 20 Arundel (14-6, 11-4) victory at South River, would create a three-way tie with No. 7 Annapolis (17-5, 12-4).
Annapolis would get the berth by virtue of the tiebreaker step No. 3. The Panthers finished 16-4 in games that count, and Arundel has lost five that count -- four in the league and to Calvert Hall.
After losing three starters to academic probation, Meade upset North County, 80-78, in overtime Wednesday.
"It helps that we played a lot of people all year and Elijah [Thurmon] has been playing well since he committed for football [tight end, signed with Howard]," said Young. "It got a load off his mind.
Thurmon's last basket underneath gave the Mustangs the lead for good at 55-53 with 53 seconds left after Desmond Dailey (26 points) had tied the score with 1:11 remaining.
Dailey, who was perfect on his first seven free throws, hit the back end of two to tie it at 53 and the front end of two to close it to 55-54 with 24 seconds to go.
Thurmon wrestled a Gopher to the floor on the Dailey miss and a jump ball to Meade was called with 22 seconds left. Dailey fouled Royster at the other end.
Royster sank two with 15 seconds on the clock to put Meade up, 57-54. The Gophers turned it over and Myers, who scored all his points at the line in the final period going 5-for-6, tossed in two with five seconds left. Terry Gaither's three-pointer at the buzzer capped the scoring.