Pikesville (21-1) made up for its only loss of the season when it used a 12-point run in the third quarter as a springboard to a 71-62 conquest of host Loch Raven in a Class 2A North regional last night.
The Panthers' victory dash, however, was marred when Brian Ash, sustained a compound fracture of his left leg late in the game. The senior starting guard, made a half-court dash to make a superb block on a Loch Raven shot, tumbled out of bounds, and came down hard on his left leg.
Paramedics were called and he was transported to Greater Baltimore Medical Center for treatment.
After the 45-minute delay, the final 2:56 was something of an anti-climax. Pikesville spent most of it shooting free throws.
Sam Altman, a do-everything senior guard, took charge of this one for the visitors, playing tough defense and leading the offense with 25 points. He kept the Raiders at bay down the stretch, hitting 10 of 12 free throws in the last eight minutes.
Scott MacCumbee had 18 points to top four double-figure scorers for Loch Raven (15-5).
Chris Palazzi scored nine of his 12 points in the first quarter, as Loch Raven bolted to an 18-8 lead in the first six minutes.
Five Pikesville players had a hand in a 17-point second quarter, and the Panthers got two ties before going in front to stay on a three-point shot from the corner by Altman with five seconds remaining.
Where Loch Raven had played a solid opening quarter, little went right for it the rest of the way. Shots that had fallen now rimmed out, and there was a rash of turnovers.
"That's been our story -- get a lead and then always seem to make a game of it," said Loch Raven coach Gary Horn.
In the earlier 55-48 win over the Panthers, Loch Raven jumped out, 18-0, and Pikesville eventually got within one and made a game of it the rest of the way.
"We were in a zone early, and I finally told my team we had to press and we brought it back," said Pikesville coach Aaron Heiosler of the teams' first meeting. "That was the making of this team. Here, we went man-to-man, and once we settled down, we were fine."