After a 26-point loss the first time around at home, the North Carroll Panthers made all the adjustments they could last night at Westminster.
The Owls, however, brought yet another ace out of the deck to help wrap up a second straight Carroll County championship with a 59-45 win.
After the Panthers' zone defense was successful in taking away the three-point looks Westminster starters Billy Mays and Aaron Krug thrive on from the baseline, junior guard Tim Frame came off the bench with an answer.
He started with two straight three pointers on back-to-back possessions when he entered midway through the first quarter. He added another three with 1: 04 left in the third quarter after the Panthers took a two-point lead and then helped close things out with a key basket and another three early in the fourth quarter.
"Tim Frame has done this in practice on a consistent basis since Nov. 15. He got that first one to go and it gave him confidence," said Westminster coach Dave Byers, who was honored before the game for recently winning his 200th game at Westminster.
While it was Frame's turn to do the damage from the outside for the Owls, senior forward Baron Smalls came up with big plays inside, finishing with nine points, nine rebounds and six steals.
The Owls improved to 9-11 overall and 5-0 in the county with Liberty left on Friday. The Panthers fell to 4-17 on the season.
The Owls took a 26-21 lead at the break after a first half filled with turnovers and missed shots.
The Panthers rallied to take a 35-34 lead when Dave Nowicki hit two free throws late in the third quarter, but the Owls answered with a 10-0 run to start the fourth.
A three-pointer from North Carroll senior Tony Reightler (12 points) got the Panthers within 44-40 before Westminster came back on the next possession with a three-point play and Smalls followed with two straight baskets inside to pull away.
"They did a real nice job. They played hard and we didn't get the open looks we got at North Carroll," said Byers. "I thought our defense was consistent all night long and we didn't give them any easy shots. We also responded well when they took the lead."
Coming off a 76-62 loss at Liberty on Friday, North Carroll coach Troy Warehime was pleased with his team's effort in the losing cause.
"Friday night at Liberty, we laid an egg. so I didn't know what to expect tonight," Warehime said. "We defended the three-pointers better and our match-up zone gave them some problems. The kids played hard. We made a run and then ran out of gas."
Senior forward Justin Malbrough led the way for the Panthers with 13 points. After Frame's 14, the Owls got a lot of balance with seven other players scoring.
Pub Date: 2/12/97