Dulaney downs Blake in Class 4A North Region basketball quarterfinal

Foul-prone Blake, of Montgomery County, sent Dulaney to the free-throw line 34 times in a Class 4A North Region quarterfinal, and the Lions (21-2) connected on 27 attempts to defeat the Bengals, 68-51, Thursday night in Timonium.

Dulaney senior guard/forward Gavan Scanlan, who led all scorers with 20 points, said that he's not surprised his team will host a regional semifinal Tuesday against the Sherwood/Paint Branch winner.

"We came into the season very confident with a senior-laden team," he said. "But nothing was given to us. We've worked hard for all we've gotten."

Demonte Ojinnaka and Stefan Sigwalt paced the Bengals with 15 points each.

Despite early foul trouble, the Lions were able to grab a 33-23 halftime advantage because reserves Gary Bernardez and Jordan Williams logged key minutes while subbing for two starters.

"They really helped us off the bench," Dulaney coach Matt Lochte said. "All the guys know they have to embrace each individual role for us to be successful as a team."

The Lions maintained their halftime margin until back-to-back buckets by 6-foot-10 senior Robert Picka and Scanlan gave them a 51-37 lead heading into the final quarter.

But Blake was persistent, shaving the deficit under double digits twice in the late going on some sharpshooting by senior guards Sigwalt (15 points) and AJ Butts.

Dulaney was just too good from the line — nailing all 13 of its final free throws — to come close to giving up the lead.

"Our goal is to shoot 80 percent from the line," Lochte said after the Lions finished a hair short of that standard (79 percent). "We work very hard on (free throws) in practice. "We even have a drill that, if a miss bounces out too far, they (players) all run. The idea is to take a softer shot, even if you miss."

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