Lansdowne's Barry Cornish wears his heart on his right bicep, where a tattoo of a pair of praying hands is dedicated to a deceased uncle.
"He was just a good uncle of mine," Cornish said of Pierre Laws, who died of a heart attack in 1998. "He was an uncle who always wanted to see me do well."
Laws would have been proud of last night's effort by his nephew, who did a little bit of everything in a 68-47 rout of host Overlea in a Baltimore County Class 2A-1A division game.
The 6-foot-5 power forward scored 19 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and handed out six assists to lead the 12th-ranked Vikings (18-3 overall, 10-0 division) to their 10th straight victory. Overlea is 12-7, 5-6.
Teammate Mike Carter scored 15 points and Chris Gilliam and John Jarboe contributed 11 points each as the Vikings put the finishing touches on the division championship and earned a berth in Tuesday's county title game against 4A-3A division leader Woodlawn.
"We haven't lost a division game this year, and we feel we're peaking at the right time," said third-year coach Doug Goff, whose Vikings are having the school's best year in at least two decades. "We're glad we won the division, but our goals are much higher than that."
A fractured foot forced Cornish to miss all but eight games last season, when Lansdowne finished second in the 2A North region to Southern of Baltimore.
"It hurt in my heart to know that I hurt myself, and my team by [horsing around] outside and not showing more responsibility," said Cornish, whose moves last night included a spin for the inside advantage on the Falcons' 6-8 Orlando Davis, whom he beat on a reverse basket for a 51-33 lead early in the fourth quarter.
"I come to play every night," Cornish said. "Everything I've done this year is focused on winning championships."'
He showed as much with his all-around hustle. He scored the Vikings' first six points for a 6-2 lead on a pair of free throws, a reverse layup over a defender and a put-back on the run, and later bounced a pass to Gilliam from the top of the key for a basket and a 10-2 advantage.