Visiting Westminster ran away from South Carroll in the late stages of the first and second quarters of their game last night and went on to wrap up their fourth straight county championship with a 60-44 victory.
Despite both sides considering this an intense rivalry, only one played like it. Westminster first went on a 10-2 run in less than three minutes for a 14-7 lead, then closed out the half with an 11-3 burst for a 32-20 cushion. The Cavaliers did not realize it at the time, but they were to get no closer.
With the victory, Westminster ended its regular season 14-8, including 5-1 in the county. South Carroll (11-9, 3-2) will be home Monday against Liberty and Tuesday against Central Maryland Conference champion Thomas Johnson.
Given the circumstances, one would have thought the exact opposite might have happened.
South Carroll, which had lost in overtime to the Owls a month ago, had shown a solid inside-outside game, and figured to be fired up with the rivalry and a chance to make a big move toward the county title.
Westminster, on the other hand, had been through a week of suspensions (the Owls were missing two starters and two reserves) and turmoil and was coming off a lethargic effort against Liberty Tuesday night.
But, the Owls punished their foes inside and out, sweeping them for the second straight time.
"The big thing we were looking for was playing together, and everybody [who] played contributed something," said Westminster coach Dave Byers.
One of the contributors was his son, Jon-David, a sophomore starter at guard. He scored 13, including three three-pointers, one a buzzer-beater from 28 feet at the end of the third period. He also assisted on several baskets with some crisp passes.
The chief benefactors were junior forward Nick Hohenwater, who roamed the baseline for many of his 16 points, and senior guard Billy Bowman, who drove inside for most of his 15 points.
"I think we had something to prove," Jon-David said. "All we heard earlier in the season was how good South Carroll was and we didn't have a chance.
"It was the last regular-season, and we came out ready. Still, credit South Carroll. They played hard. They didn't quit."
Adam Hynes had 15 points for the Cavs, and Sam McGrane, second in county scoring with 14.2 a game, ended with one point.
Pub Date: 2/20/99