In a hot, packed gym in Cape St. Claire yesterday, host Broadneck got hot on defense and at the free-throw line in the final 1:23 to deal rival Severna Park a 57-51 loss in boys basketball.
The No. 12 Bruins (11-2), who trailed 34-29 at the half, outscored the Falcons 28-17 over the last 16 minutes. Severna Park coach Paul Pellicani said it was Broadneck's "pressure on the perimeter" that denied the Falcons (7-6) in the second half.
The Bruins made seven of eight free-throw attempts to close the game, with J.J. Hicks hitting three of four.
But a move by Broadneck coach John Williams turned the tide in his team's favor. Midway through the third period, Williams assigned Mike Atkins to cover 6-foot-8 Brad Bald.
The North Carolina-Wilmington-bound Bald, who finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, was held to just four points by the 6-4 Atkins in the last quarter.
"We tried to save that matchup," Williams said. "We tried to keep some of our better defenders out of foul trouble. Mike did a good job of fronting and Kevin Hunt did a tremendous job of strong, help-side defense."
Hunt had team highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Atkins had three three-pointers in the first period and 11 points with six rebounds. Atkins welcomed the challenge of covering Bald.
"He was a lot stronger than I thought he was," Atkins said.
"I thought it was just going to be a box-out thing, but he was a lot harder than that. We were trying to keep the ball out of his hands and I just fronted him."
Bald's younger brother, junior Brendan, had 16 points (12 in the first half) and eight rebounds.