Owls swat­ted by Pan­thers

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By BILL GATES [email protected]­pub.com

Dur­ing the first quar­ter of its game against vis­it­ing Pikesville on Fri­day, the Dun­dalk boys bas­ket­ball team missed 10 of 11 free throws.

At first it ap­peared to be an af­ter­thought, an as­pect of the game sin­gled out as “need­ing im­prove­ment” after an­other Owl vic­tory.

In­stead, those missed points wold have come in handy late in the game as Pikesville stunned Dun­dalk 47-42.

The loss dropped the Owls’ record to 6-2 over­all, 4-2 in the re­gional stand­ings. Dun­dalk now is a game-and-a-half be­hind C. Mil­ton Wright (6-1) for first play in Class 3A North Sec­tion II and the home court ad­van­tage in the play­offs.

“If some­one had told me be­fore the game we were go­ing to hold them to 47 points, I would fig­ure we won by 15 points,” Dun­dalk coach Steve Op­pen­heim said. “We just could not put the ball in the bas­ket. We had the chances, just didn’t con­nect.”

The Owls shot 18-for-54 (33 per cent) from the floor and were 4-for-16 (5 per cent) at the foul line.

What really hurt Dun­dalk was mak­ing only two of 17 three-point at­tempts.

“The game plan was there,” Op­pen­heim said. “We wanted to get turnovers, we got turnovers. We wanted to con­tain their top scorer, and we did. They had us scouted, but we still ex­e­cuted our game plan. We just didn’t fin­ish.”

This was only the third time in 11 years the Owls held an op­po­nent to fewer than 60 points, and lost.

Dun­dalk didn’t score for the first three-and-a-half min­utes and fin­ished the first quar­ter with five points.

A 12-3 surge at the start of the sec­ond quar­ter boosted the Owls to a 17-12 lead. But it was the only sig­nif­i­cant scor­ing run of the game for the Owls, who were never able to shake free of the Pan­thers.

Ray­onte Brown capped the run with an im­pres­sive dunk, and it looked like it would spark the Owls ito tak­ing con­trol of the game.

In­stead, Dun­dalk scored only two points over the fi­nal 2:38 of the sec­ond quar­ter and went into half­time lead­ing by one, 19-18.

Pikesville over­took Dun­dalk mid­way through the fourth quar­ter and held a 40-36 lead with four min­utes re­main­ing.

A three-point play by Michael John­son pulled the Owls to within 40-39, only to see Dun­dalk score just three more points over the fi­nal four min­utes.

Two of those points came on a jumper by Jay­lon John­son with 35 sec­onds re­main­ing in the game that tied the score at 42-42.

But Evan Flaks one of the Pikesville play­ers the Owls were com­mit­ted to holdig in check, got an open look from the three-point line and sank the bas­ket to make it 45-42 with 24 sec­onds left to play.

Dun­dalk turned over the ball on its sub­se­quent pos­ses­sion, and Flaks hit two clinch­ing free throws with five sec­onds re­main­ing.

Slow starts have be­come com­mon for Dun­dalk this sea­son. This time, the usual sec­ond-half surge never hap­pened.

“It’s not what they did, it’s what we didn’t do,” Op­pen­heim said. “For all of our in­ef­fec­tive­ness, we were still right there.

“We still have to play all four quar­ters. We’ve got to do that to be suc­cess­ful.”

Dun­dalk was to host Carver A&T on Wednes­day and trav­els to Here­ford on Fri­day be­fore play­ing at Pat­ap­sco on Jan. 16.

The Pa­tri­ots (0-6) lost to vis­it­ing Owings Mills on Fri­day 71-43. Pat­ap­sco is at Parkville on Wednes­day and at Owings Mills on Fri­day be­fore host­ing Dun­dalk.

Spar­rows Point (1-4) lost to vis­it­ing Du­laney on Fri­day 96-29. The Point­ers next home game is on Jan­uary 18 against Here­ford.

Tre­mayne Martin of Du­dalk pe­pares to put back an of­fen­sive re­bound against Pikesville.

PHO­TOS BY BILL GATES

Jay­lon John­son of Dun­dalk goes up for a dunk dur­ing the loss to Pikesville last week.

Dun­dalk’s Michael John­son pre­pares to put up a shot over a Pikesville de­fender.

Dun­dalk’s Ray­onte Brown dunks the ball against Pikesville.

Ky’Juan New­land passes off the ball dur­ing Dun­dalk’s loss to Pikesville on Fri­day.

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