Rams gain early lead, beat Braves

Bur­rows scores 16 points in vic­tory

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

Through­out much of the con- test, McDonough High School se­nior guard Dwane Bur­rows was fre­quently the small­est player on the floor in Wednes- day’s South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence game against Chop­ti­con.

But Bur­rows came through for the Rams in a big way, scor­ing a game-high 16 points, in­clud­ing three three-point field goals in the first half as the hosts built a 34-16 half­time ad­van­tage and even­tu­ally pre­vailed 47-36.

McDonough went to 2-3 over­all with the win, while the Braves, who stunned North Point 71-66 one week ear­lier, fell to 1-3.

“I just felt more con­fi­dent as the game went on,” said Bur- rows, who has played soc­cer and run cross coun­try for the school in the past and might play lacrosse for the Rams in the spring. “I was able to get open and hit a cou­ple of shots tonight. Ev­ery­thing that I do is to help my team. It was a good team win for us.”

Bur­rows ac­tu­ally started the game qui­etly and did not score un­til the last minute of the first quar­ter. Chop­ti­con owned a 4-2 lead briefly, but the Rams coun­tered with a 12-0 run capped by Bur­rows’ first three-pointer of the night. Amareay Wal­ters con­verted a layup at the buzzer to give the Rams a 16-6 lead as he and Chop­ti­con’s A.J. Hunt each had six points in the quar­ter.

“Dwane played a com­plete game for us tonight and so did a lot of our guys,” McDonough head coach Dave Rooney said. “We played within our­selves tonight. We did not come out and try to do too much. We were pa­tient and we ran our plays and we did a good job box­ing out their big guys on the boards. This was a big win for us.”

Bur­rows con­nected on his sec­ond three-pointer early in the sec­ond quar­ter, but that was im­me­di­ately matched by Chop­ti­con’s Bran­don Lowe, who led the Braves with 10 points. The Rams re­sponded with a 6-0 run over the next four min­utes as their pa­tience rose to the fore­front. In fact, one Rams posses- sion lasted well over a minute.

Chop­ti­con’s Von­tae Hof­fert fi­nally ended the drought with a layup, but Bur­rows replied with a free throw and then his third three-pointer of the half to ex- tend McDonough’s lead to 17 points. Hunt made a pair of free throws with just over a minute re­main­ing, but the Rams ended the half in style when se­nior Ean Batts con­nected on a three-pointer just be­fore the buzzer for a 34-16 lead.

“That first half I thought we set­tled for too many jumpers,” said Chop­ti­con as­sis­tant coach Mike Leo, who han­dled the postgame in­ter­view du­ties for head coach Glenn Larn­erd Jr., who de­clined them. “I thought we did a much bet­ter job in the third quar­ter at­tack­ing the bas­ket. But then in the fourth quar­ter we took too many shots from the perime­ter and we didn’t take ad­van­tage of our size in­side.”

Chop­ti­con outscored McDonough 13-4 in the third quar­ter to get within sin­gle dig­its head­ing into the fi­nal frame. Lowe opened the sec­ond half with an­other three-pointer and later added two mid-range jumpers and Ni­cholas Sny­der ended the frame with a layup af­ter Bur­rows had briefly ex­tended the Rams lead back to 11.

Nei­ther team dis­played much of­fen­sive prow­ess through­out the first three quar­ters of play on Wed­nes­day and the fourth quar­ter of­fered even less. McDonough’s Gil­bert Ford had one bucket early in the frame and Bur­rows added a short jumper later, but Chop­ti­con went 0 for 10 from the floor in the quar­ter and net­ted their last seven points at the freethrow line.

Chop­ti­con is sched­uled to be at Caro­line (Va.) at 7 tonight, while McDonough is slated to host Calvert at 6:30 tonight.

PHOTO BY WAL­LACE BAR­RON

McDonough guard Ean Batts pulls up for a short jumper as Chop­ti­con de­fender Ni­cholas Sny­der con­verges and Rams team­mate Dwane Bur­rows looks on. McDonough gained a com­fort­able first half lead en route to 47-36 vic­tory over the Braves on Wed­nes­day as Bur­rows led all scor­ers with 16 points.

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