Coming off rare loss, Severn scorches John Carroll, 67-50 Defense, hot 1st half push Admirals ahead in tourney


Coaches don't like to lose, but sometimes when you're on a long winning streak going into a tournament, a loss can be a plus. At least that is what Severn coach Tank Duckett is hoping.

That age-old remedy of turning a negative into a positive is Duckett's goal.

His No. 15 Admirals eliminated John Carroll, 67-50, in yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference quarterfinal in Severna Park to put Severn in today's 5 p.m. semifinal at Gilman vs. St. Mary's, which ousted Archbishop Curley yesterday, 64-62.

Dennard Melton led Severn with a game high 15 points and had six boards, five assists and four steals.

The Admirals and Saints split during the season, each winning at home, but Severn took the last one by 18.

Yesterday, Severn (18-4, 12-2) was coming off a 58-51 loss to No. 19 St. Paul's that snapped its 16-game winning streak.

"We had to get back to winning, and we're always looking for motivation," said Duckett. "In the St. Paul's game, we only shot 14-for-28 from the foul line, so we should have won the game. But it helped us re-focus. We had two good days of practice, and we're moving pretty good again."

Yesterday, the Admirals' foul shooting was considerably better (18-for-24), but it really wasn't needed. After a 17-11 first period lead, Severn went on 9-2 run to start the second period, and by intermission, the Admirals held a commanding 36-19 lead, and Melton had scored 10 of his points.

The Admirals forced nine turnovers in the first half, 20 for the game, and made the Patriots pay dearly. Brad Meerholz (four rebounds) was a bright spot for John Carroll scoring eight of his 10 points in the first half.

John Carroll's only other player in double digits was Mike Malone, who got 10 of his team-high 11 points (including two three-pointers) in the second half. Dwight Bundy, who had seven points, led the Patriots with five rebounds.

"No, it wasn't much of a game. They were ready to play, " said John Carroll coach Pat Goles, whose Patriots lost to the Admirals by 11 (68-57) during regular season. "I think the worse thing that happened to us was them losing Friday night. They were pumped."

John Carroll knocked off Park (7-13, 1-12) on Tuesday by 52-42 in the tournament's first round but was no match for the Admirals.

For openers in the second half, Melton stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup.

Severn shot 43 percent from the floor hitting 24 of 56 attempts and Duckett, who is not one to run up scores, cleared his bench with all 11 players on his roster seeing action and scoring.

Admirals Jeff Haskins (eight points, six rebounds) and Greg Cooper (eight points, six boards, three steals) also played well.

Pub Date: 2/20/97

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