It wasn't your typical Annapolis-Meade game last night as the No. 3 Running Panthers outlasted No. 20 Meade, 54-48, to remain unbeaten in the Capital City last night. The game matched a pair of 5-0 teams.
"I think everybody was looking for a whole lot of action, but it was a sloppy game, man," Annapolis sophomore Marcus Neal said. " All of us was going around couldn't nobody hold the ball or nothing was a rough game."
The low scoring and not too fundamentally sound game among two teams that normally score in the 70s and 80s and often higher was the first and only regular-season meeting scheduled between the two perennial Anne Arundel contenders.
Neal, one of three Panthers in double digits with 13 points, talked about his team's 17 turnovers to the Mustangs' 14.
Junior Thomas Hawkins led Annapolis with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Charles, who had seven boards and four blocked shots, had 14 points for Meade.
Each team had eight giveaways in the first half as Annapolis took a 31-30 lead despite shooting only 31 percent (12-for-39) as compared to 54 percent (13-for-24) by the 'Stangs.
Meade's shooting from the floor fell off drastically in the second half and it cost the Mustangs.
"We just weren't very patient offensively, and didn't do a real good job," said Meade coach Butch Young. "I don't know that we played as well as we can, but I think we showed that we can play with most people."
The numbers more than supported the veteran coach. Meade threw in only seven of 32 in the last 16 minutes, while Annapolis managed to sink 11-of-28 to hang on.
Meade outscored Annapolis 12-10 in the third period, but the Panthers won the third by 13-6, closing on a three by Marques Johnson and a basket by Neal to give Annapolis a 44-36 lead.
Neal scored four more in the final period while Travis Foster, who had four blocked shots and 11 points, came up with two of his seven boards in key situations.
Meade got within 48-45 on a bucket by Melvin Montgomery (eight points, five rebounds) with about four minutes left. Neal answered with a reverse layup to push the Panthers' lead to 50-45 and a one-handed drive by Hawkins made it 52-45 with 2: 30 left.
Terrell Ross sank the first of two at the line, but when he missed the second with 2: 19 remaining, the 6-foot-5 Foster snatched up the rebound. Down the other end, Neal's layin iced it at 54-46 with just over a minute left.
"We never got into any type of rhythm," said Neal. "The game kept stopping. I don't know what was going on with the delays. We never got into our kind of pace."
There was a brief delay in the first period when it was discovered that Meade didn't have a player in the score book and it cost them a pair of technical foul shots by Hawkins.
Then in the opening seconds of the second half, Annapolis coach John Brady conferred with the referees, left the gym and returned with a towel. He then cleaned a spot along the sideline in front of the Panthers bench as the players stood by. The Annapolis coach apparently got up the slippery substance and play resumed.
"Still, this win means a lot to us," said Neal.
Pub Date: 12/23/98