Catonsville Community College has been like a second home for Broadneck over the last decade. The Bruins have won five Wes Unseld Holiday Tournament championships there.
But the No. 13 Bruins' last memory of Catonsville's hardwood wasn't a pleasant one, losing in last year's final for only the second time in seven appearances.
After a slow start last night, Broadneck seized control and began its pursuit of a sixth tournament title, defeating Milford Mill, 63-30.
In the other first-round games, No. 7 Randallstown defeated Old Mill, 77-35; No. 17 Woodlawn edged Hammond, 65-38; and defending champion Edmondson defeated Catonsville, 64-57.
rTC In tonight's semifinal round, Broadneck will meet Woodlawn at 6: 15, followed by Randallstown vs. Edmondson. In consolation games, Hammond and Milford Mill meet at 3 p.m. and Catonsville and Old Mill meet at 4: 45 p.m.
Noble Watkins and John Williams led Broadneck (3-2) with 18 points each as the Bruins dominated the second half, outscoring the Millers 36-13.
"The kids take this tournament very seriously," said Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek, whose team won its tournament-record 20th game. "They wanted to come here and do well. I think in the early going they were a little bit squeezed, but once they relaxed, they did some excellent things in the second half."
One of those things was controlling the boards. The Bruins out-rebounded the Millers 36-17, behind Watkins' 18. Broadneck held Milford Mill (2-2) to only five field goals in the final 16 minutes.
In the first half, Broadneck had plenty of scoring opportunities -- mostly in the paint -- but went only 8-for-32 from the field. It still led 27-17 at halftime.
The Bruins came out relaxed in the second half and scored the first six points, increasing their lead to 33-17. Milford Mill made a brief run, scoring seven straight to get back within 10 points.
Broadneck continued its dominance on the glass, and the Bruins would run off 10 more points, four each from Watkins and Earl Downs (five points) to build a 45-23 lead early in the final period.
"We did a better job boxing out, taking charges and pump faking," said Watkins, a 6-foot-5 senior center. "We had a little jitters at first, but we showed that we can win the championship."
In the opening game, Randallstown (5-1) blew open a close game to beat Old Mill (1-5).
After leading 29-21 at halftime, the Rams outscored the Patriots 48-14 in the final 16 minutes as every Randallstown player scored.
Chauncey McGee led Randallstown with 15 points and Demon Brown and Ayinde Edwards each added 11. Owen Gaither scored 12 points to lead Old Mill.
Woodlawn (2-1) built an 18-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back in defeating Hammond (2-3).
Paul Kwajafa led 12 players who scored for Woodlawn with 10 points. Jerry Oliver led all scorers with 13 for Hammond.
In the final game of the day, Virgil Singleton scored a game-high 30 points, leading Edmondson (2-4) past Catonsville (1-4).
Jerel Cotton led Catonsville with 19 points.
Pub Date: 12/27/96