Central ousts Southern-AA as PG again rules region, 81-64


CAPITOL HEIGHTS -- Despite the best efforts of Southern-Anne Arundel's top scorer, a Prince George's County team walked away with yet another Class 2A South regional title.

Bulldogs senior Justin Holland scored a game-high 29 points, but the Central boys basketball team captured a second straight title anyway in an 81-64 victory last night.

Central (13-9) became the eighth straight Prince George's team to win the title and will face Southern of Baltimore in a state semifinal at 9 p.m. Friday at the Comcast Center in College Park.

Southern-AA (17-7) made a game of it early, mainly because of Holland's quick start. He scored 11 first-quarter points to boost the Bulldogs to a 17-12 lead.

Central ripped the lead away from Southern with a decisive 10-2 run to open the second quarter. The Bulldogs trailed the rest of the way.

Southern fell behind by as many as 13 in the third quarter before senior center Adrian Gross (10 points) sank two foul shots to bring Southern within six. An 11-0 Central spurt followed.

Foul trouble doomed any chance of a Southern comeback. Holland and guard Chuck Warning both fouled out, and Gross, one of the area's top big men, played most of the second half with four fouls.

"I thought we could get the lead back," Southern coach Tom Albright said. "But then we got into foul trouble and there wasn't much we could do."

Southern repeatedly fouled Central late in the final quarter in a desperate attempt to narrow the margin. Central struggled at times from the foul line, but hit 10 of its final 14 attempts.

Senior guard Chris Henderson paced Central with 21 points, and three of his teammates added 13 or more points. Matt Hall scored 14 points for the Bulldogs, who were pursuing their first regional title since 1996.

"We've come back before in the playoffs, and I thought we could get back into it," Holland said. "But I give Central credit."

S--Hall 14, Gross 10, Holland 29, Warning 3, Moulden 3, Gibson 3, Juen 2. Totals 25 16-18 64. C--Henderson 21, Nworkie 13, Spruill 15, Norris 13, Wallace 5, Robb 12, Dawkins 1, Gray 1. Totals 20 26-42 81. Half: C, 38-34.

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