Poolesville puts Brunswick away

March 06, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

POOLESVILLE, Md. - Jim Sklencar couldn't buck it. He nearly got his money's worth, even though he wished he had a quarter back.

"It all came down to the fourth quarter," the Brunswick boys basketball coach said.

To be honest, it came down to three-quarters of the final quarter.

Poolesville mounted a 7-0 burst with five minutes remaining to take the lead and started a 21-10 run to pull out a 76-66 victory Wednesday in the Class 1A South semifinal.

Gary Ward hit 11 of his game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter, including six straight foul shots in the final 27 seconds, to move the Falcons into the region final against Dunbar.


"They just maintained their execution and had a higher level of play in the final four or five minutes," Sklencar said. "They just played better than us."

Until then, it was a classic nip-and-tuck, see-saw battle with neither team leading by more than six points. Both teams battled on the boards and used post play effectively when they needed it to keep the game close.

There were 11 ties and 13 lead changes in the game.

Brunswick (14-8) owned a 32-27 halftime lead as Ryan Carter hit seven points off two 3s and a foul shot to give the Railroaders some separation. But Ward opened the second half by canning a 3 as the Falcons began to reel the Railroaders back in.

"We always seem to have trouble getting started in the third quarter," Sklencar said. "It seemed like the momentum was starting to switch over to them then. It wasn't any big plays ... it was a gradual thing."

The two teams raced neck-and-neck to the end of the third quarter and through the first three minutes of the fourth period. Jeremy Hueston scored eight of his 14 and Jason Anderson muscled in for five of his 13 to keep the Railroaders with a 56-55 lead with 5:06 to go.

From there, the Falcons pulled the pin on Brunswick with the final charge, as the Railroaders lost steam like an unattached caboose.

Poolesville, which hit 24 of 25 free throws in the game, hit eight straight foul shots to enhance a 10-0 run over a 40-second span to turn the game from a 66-63 advantage to what ended up looking like a 76-63 runaway.

Brunswick finished with five players in double figures, led by Hueston. Brandon Dykes had 13 points and seven rebounds while Anderson had nine rebounds and Jesse Ault dealt seven assists.

"Their offense picked up the pace and our defense didn't match them," Sklencar said. "They are a good team and they are tough to beat here. The score won't tell how close this game actually was, though."

Class 1A South semifinal

Poolesville 76, Brunswick 66


Wachter 3, Ault 3, Carter 10, Hueston 14, Dykes 13, Feldman 10, Anderson 13. Totals 23 11-20 66.


Brooks 2, Christman 2, Ward 32, Cabrera 2, Fink 15, Riggs 11, Ballou 12. Totals 24 24-25 76.

Brunswick 16 16 13 21 - 66

Poolesville 16 11 20 29 - 76

Three-point goals - Brunswick 9 (Carter 3, Hueston 2, Feldman 2, Wachter, Dykes), Poolesville 4 (Ward 3, Fink) Technical fouls - Hueston.

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