Annapolis showed Oakland Mills why it is called the Running Panthers last night in an 83-67 romp in the second game of the Cap City Classic.
The No. 3 Running Panthers (7-0) shot 58 percent (34-for-59) from the field, placing four players in double digits, and out-rebounded the Scorpions, 37-15.
Junior Thomas Hawkins and sophomore Marcus Neal led the way with 27 and 20 points, respectively, as Annapolis advanced to the final of its tournament.
Anthony Breland (24) and Murray Graves (14) combined for 38 of Oakland Mills' points.
Bidding for a repeat title, Annapolis meets Loyola, a 54-51 victor over North County (3-4) in tonight's 8 o'clock championship game. North County and 14th-ranked Oakland Mills (5-2) will play the consolation at 4 p.m.
Loyola (6-4) trailed the entire game, by as many as 12, before finally taking the lead at 52-51 with 21 seconds left on junior Greg Jordan's basket. Seniors Mike Bosica and Tim Hyle, whose layup with 10 seconds left capped the scoring, led the Dons with 14 points each.
Tonight's championship game matches two of the state's all-time winningest coaches in Jerry Savage of Loyola and John Brady of Annapolis. Savage is the metro area's top active coach at 561-354 in his 31st season.
Brady, who played JV basketball for Savage at Mount St. Joseph before the latter moved to Loyola, is 444-88 in his 22nd season.
The Panthers broke out of the gate running and gunning last night, taking a 14-2 lead in the first period with Travis Foster (12 points, two blocks, game-high 10 rebounds) scoring six points.
Oakland Mills closed to an 18-13 deficit on a three-pointer by Davon Smith (11 points, four rebounds), but would falter in the middle periods.
Hawkins, who also had nine rebounds and three assists, scored nine in the second period, five straight from the foul line, and Neal had seven points as the Panthers took a 10-point halftime lead.
Baskets by Hawkins and Neal and a three from Marques Johnson (11 points, three assists, eight boards, two blocks, three steals) closed out the half.
A three by Hawkins gave Annapolis a 61-49 lead after three periods, and the Panthers broke it open in the final eight minutes. Breland (five rebounds) scored eight of the last 10 Scorpions points in the third period. A reverse dunk by Johnson off a perfect pass from Neal and the latter's second three of the night upped the Annapolis lead to 75-56 with about 3 1/2 minutes to go.
In the first game, North County maintained a six- to eight-point lead most of the first half, but the Dons put together a couple of mini-runs to stay in the game.
The Dons outscored the Knights, 22-11, in the final period with Jordan scoring two crucial baskets in the final 1: 52.
Pub Date: 12/30/98