Dundalk and Allegany will play for the Maryland JuCo championship after each won a semifinal contest last night at Baltimore City Community College.
Dundalk defeated host and defending champ Baltimore, 71-70, and Allegany edged Cecil, 72-70, in overtime. The title game will be this afternoon at 2 o'clock, with the winner gaining a spot in the NJCAA Region 20 tournament at Allegany next weekend.
The 16-team state tourney opened Wednesday, with Catonsville, ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA Division II poll, losing to Anne Arundel. Baltimore defeated Anne Arundel in Friday's quarterfinals.
But the Red Devils, who finished fifth in the national JuCo tournament last season, were unable to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit against the Lions.
"We go as far as our guards will take us," said Dundalk coach Don Beasley. "We fell into a lapse toward the end, but we need to get contribution from the others."
The backcourt of Eugene Jackson (33 points) and Anthony Chase (26) carried Dundalk to the victory. Kevin Waters led Baltimore (14-12) with 21 points and Lee Reliford had 19.
Baltimore got within 62-61 with 3: 18 remaining, but Dundalk responded with seven straight points to build a 68-61 advantage with 1: 52 left.
The Lions had a 70-65 lead with 33 seconds left before a three-pointer by Waters brought Baltimore to 70-68 with 18.3 seconds remaining.
After Jackson hit one of two free throws, giving Dundalk a three-point cushion, the Red Devils tried to get off a three-pointer but had to settle for a layup by Marcus Moore with 2.3 seconds left.
"We played good for probably 10 minutes and bad the rest of the game," said Baltimore coach Roger Dickens, whose team won the NJCAA Region 20 title last season. "We don't have a true point guard, so to be able to come back the way that we did says a lot."
Third-seeded Allegany (22-6) got a jumper from guard Dominic Taylor with 1.4 seconds remaining in overtime to put the Trojans in the final.
Taylor, who finished with 13 points, helped Allegany overcome a 13-point, second-half deficit, scoring six of his team's final eight, including a jumper with 36.7 seconds remaining in regulation to force the overtime.
It was the second overtime victory by Allegany over Cecil this season. Nick Clay led the Trojans with 18 points, and D.J. Woolston led the Seahawks with 15.
Pub Date: 2/21/99