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Southern sends Panthers packing again

March 01, 2001

Southern sends Panthers packing again



By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent


CUMBERLAND, Md. - For the Southern Garrett boys basketball team, a Class 1A West semifinal matchup with Hancock is becoming a postseason habit of sorts.

On Wednesday, Southern, the Goliath of region basketball in recent years, was meeting up with the wanna-be David in the Panthers for the third straight year. In each of the last two seasons, Hancock exited the playoffs courtesy of the Rams.

In the end, this game was just another case of deja vu that the Panthers could have done without.

Senior Bryan Panther led a balanced Rams attack that saw no less than nine players make the scorebook as Southern advanced to the finals with a 59-41 win over Hancock. The Rams (21-2) opened up an early 18-8 lead using their signature flash and dash swing offense that kept Hancock hustling and on their heels most of the evening.

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Sophomore Chris Wills led the Panthers' effort with 12 points. But Hancock's inability to clear rebounds and get second chance shots was tantamount to the Rams' ability to play just hard enough to keep them at arm's length the entire evening.

It was the matchup Southern coach Tom Bosely had hoped for.

"We knew Brandon Fling could hurt us a little inside," Bosely said of the Panther's 6-6 center who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. "But we hoped to be able to use our muscle and force them to go outside. It just happened to work out for us."

Bosely went on to praise Hancock for their game plan, which was startlingly similar to Southern's.

In fact, Hancock coach Jeff Spielman was hoping for the same outcome, but a little different result.

"We wanted those long looks at the basket." Spielman said in reference to the Rams' seeming indifference to Hancock's perimeter game. "Unfortunately, we didn't knock down as many shots as we wanted to."

Hancock did hit three long 3s, but were able to put in only 14 baskets or the game. The Panthers got as close as 14 in the second half, but Southern's inside strength was too much.

"We knew Brandon would be in trouble underneath tonight," Spielman said. "In the beginning, he drew some nice fouls in the paint, but (Southern) settled in."

"We have our work cut out for us." Bosely said. "We just got the news today that our center Bryson Myers is out for the remainder of the season."

"They are pretty quick and really aggressive," Spielman said of the Rams. "I'm sure they will adjust."

Josh Sharon added 10 points for Southern.

S. Garrett 59, Hancock 41



HANCOCK (41)

Keefer 6, J. Wills 7, Newton 3, Pittman 3, C.Wills 12, Fling 10. Totals 14 10-13 41.

SOUTHERN GARRETT (59)

C. Panther 6, Reams 4, Saturday 5, Ewing 8, Parsons 2, Bosely 2, Sharon 10, Helbig 8, B. Panther 15. Totals 27 16-26 59.

Hancock8111111-41

So. Garrett18111218-59

Three-point goals - Hancock 3(C.Wills, J.Wills, Newton.

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