Aberdeen and Edgewood, two ranked teams expected to battle for the Harford County title, lived up to their advance notices last night in a game at Edgewood that Aberdeen won in overtime, 60-54.
This was the fourth straight win for the unbeaten, No. 9-ranked Eagles, while No. 14 Edgewood (3-2) lost its second game in three nights.
The neighborhood rivals were tied at 50 at the end of regulation, and at 52 and 54 in the first 3 1/2 minutes of overtime. From there, Aberdeen's James Smith, who later said he was about a 50 percent foul shooter, made four straight free throws off two bonus situations, the last with 23 seconds left.
In between those two, Smith had a steal and Tommie Mims a rebound to help deny Edgewood meaningful possessions.
Seniors Smith and Mims and junior E. J. Henderson did most of the damage for the winners. The three are holdovers from last year's 23-3, Class 2A state finalists, and that experience showed.
Earlier, Smith had to sit for extended periods because of foul trouble.
"Sitting bothers me, because I'd rather be on the floor," he said. "At the same time, it did help because I could see where we were messing up, and I could get things going when I got back in."
The three accounted for 45 Aberdeen points, and Henderson, a solid 6-foot-3 leaper, was credited with 18 rebounds. Edgewood, with two 6-3 regulars sidelined -- Amos Henderson with a sprained thumb, and Calvin Corley, who hurt an ankle in the first half -- had no answer for them.
Keith Winder, an 18-point scorer through five games, led the Rams with 16 points. Mike Griffin, a 23-point scorer, and Kirk Forbes had 13 each.
These are two teams that like to get up and down the floor, and neither has a player taller than 6-3, although Henderson plays much bigger. In the end, it came down to experience, as the visitors overcame a 31-17 deficit in the second quarter.
Asked about the leaping game inside, Henderson said, "Yeah, it was a leaping game -- and a body game, too."
Pub Date: 12/19/96