Edgewood had no answer last night for Atholton's Brian Boykins, who scored 31 points and had 17 rebounds in the Raiders' 76-74 victory over the 18th-ranked Rams.
Atholton's other impact player, Jason Allmond, who missed last Friday's season-opening loss to South Carroll because of a sore ankle, also had a big night with 23 points.
"His [Boykins] dunk to start the second half was really the difference," said Atholton point guard Eddie Lopez. "It got the crowd into it and pulled us together after we had gone flat at the end of the first half."
Both teams hurt themselves in the first half. Edgewood committed 17 fouls and had four players with three fouls each before halftime.
When Boykins, who scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half, dunked to start the second half, it tied the score at 36 and sent the Raiders on a 7-2 scoring run. Boykins' string of baskets later in the third quarter was even more decisive.
Edgewood (0-2), which lost by two points to Catonsville Friday, had scored eight unanswered points to go ahead 48-43, when Atholton retaliated with 10 unanswered points, eight by Boykins, to go up 53-48.
"He just kept calling for it down low," Lopez said.
It was a game filled with lead swings and rallies. Edgewood rallied at the end of the third quarter, outscoring Atholton 8-3 to go ahead 58-56.
Atholton (1-1), winners of four of the last five county titles, outscored Edgewood 12-2 to start the fourth quarter and lead 68-60.
That's when Edgewood's Jonathan Booker fouled out, a big plus for Atholton since he handled the ball well and scored 13 points.
Atholton's defense played a key role in forcing 24 Edgewood turnovers.
Boykins praised the entire team for its efforts. "We play team ball and had eight or nine guys in the rotation tonight. We need to tighten up some things, but pride drives us. We didn't lose at home all last season."
Atholton did the things it had to do to win down the stretch.
Lopez made a crucial backdoor pass to Steve Waddy for a layup with 33 seconds left that put the Raiders ahead 73-72.
"They had doubled down on Boykins and that left Waddy open," Atholton coach Jim Albert said.
An Edgewood turnover with nine seconds left and an Edgewood intentional foul with seven seconds left gave Lopez a chance to sink two free throws for a 75-72 lead.
Edgewood got to the line with five seconds left, and Erik Butler made both shots. Atholton's Steve Eureste went to the line at the other end and made one with two seconds left.
Pub Date: 12/09/98