If ever a team gave its all and came up a tad short, Glen Burnie sure did over the last 10 days. Its season and a coaching career ended last night but not before the Gophers and Terry Bogle earned the admiration of many.
Boo Diggs scored 13 of his team-high 27 points in the final period to go with nine second-half rebounds (game-high total of 11) and three blocks as Annapolis eliminated Glen Burnie, 78-71, in the first round of the Class 4A East Region playoffs.
It was the Gophers' fourth loss in their last five games with everyone of them going to the wire and two settled in overtime, including Wednesday's 87-84 county championship loss to Broadneck.
The Panthers (18-5), who shot 45 percent from the floor (26-for-58) and 76 percent (22-for-29) at the line, including 16 of 19 in the final period, will play host to Northern of Calvert County, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the quarterfinals.
"Glen Burnie didn't quit, made us play to the last second," said Annapolis coach John Brady. "Our talent and character showed at the end, but I have mixed feelings about coaching and winning against Terry in his last game."
"I'm really proud of this bunch," said Bogle, who announced his retirement after 28 seasons earlier this week. "I've never had a group of kids who made me feel any prouder.
"They met every challenge, adversity and made me feel really good about the last 28 years. This is a special moment because of a special group of kids."
Coming off a 12-11 season, 17 wins (17-7) was not a realistic
expectation, but Bogle's team knew no other way but to play hard.
Last night, the Gophers fell behind by 13 (30-17) midway through the second period with the Panthers; Ryan Dacey doing most of the damage, hitting three of his game-high four three-pointers and scoring 12 of his 20 points.
In typical Gopher fashion, the home team came speeding back with a 12-2 run that featured eight of the points by Desmond Dailey (game-high 29 points, five rebounds) and Annapolis took a 32-29 lead to the break.
Dailey owned the third period, scoring 10 more points, the final two from the line to tie the game at 52 with 56 seconds left.
Brian Barber's only field goal of the second half came with 22 seconds left and sent the Panthers into the final eight minutes with a 54-52 lead.
The 6-foot-7 Diggs took over the game, scoring three field goals, going 7-for-7 at the line and blocking two shots.
"It was time to step it up and I was pumped up," said Diggs, who got his fourth foul with 4:11 remaining as Damon Flamer (14 points, four rebounds) sank two to tie the game at 62.
After an Annapolis turnover, Diggs finished a nifty transition basket that gave the Panthers the lead for good at 64-62 with 3:40 to go.
Downs sank five of six free-throws in the final 1:35 to ice it.