Hor­nets rule SMAC on hard­wood

The Enterprise - - Sports - COLIN STOECKER

Head coach Jeff Bur­rell was be­side him­self af­ter his Great Mills boys bas­ket­ball team went on a game-chang­ing, 14-2 run to claim a 66-53 win over vis­it­ing St. Charles in the Class 3A South Re­gion Sec­tion II fi­nal on Feb. 28.

With the win the Hor­nets (19-3 over­all), who had won 17 straight games with the tri­umph over the Spar­tans, had the honor of host­ing Poly of Bal­ti­more City in the Class 3A South Re­gion fi­nal. The En­gi­neers had earned their spot in the re­gional fi­nal fol­low­ing their 61-58 win over Po­tomac of Prince Ge­orge’s County in the Sec­tion I fi­nal.

“I’m ex­cited, be­yond ex­cited for our kids,” Bur­rell said a few feet away from a rau­cous Hor­nets locker room af­ter the sec­tional fi­nal vic­tory. “The big thing is the whole com­mu­nity came out. It was loud and en­er­getic and there was a lot of pos­i­tive en­ergy out there from our young [play­ers] and when things got bad for us we still heard en­cour­age­ment from our crowd. You could kind of see the court shift­ing a bit. We love stuff like that.”

Great Mills’ sopho­more for­ward Do­minic Brooks had 10 points, 8 re­bounds, as well as a team-high 5 blocks in the win over St. Charles.

St. Charles (17-7), the sec- ond seed in Sec­tion II, had won seven of eight games, their only loss a 57-51 set­back to the Great Mills, the sec­tion’s top seed, in the SMAC ti­tle game the pre­vi­ous week.

The Great Mills boys bas­ket­ball team was able to se­cure a new ban­ner for the school, but the sec­ond one eluded them fol­low­ing a 60-54 loss to vis­it­ing Poly in the Class 3A South Re­gion cham­pi­onship game on March 2.

The Hor­nets (19-4 over­all) led Poly for most of the game.

“I’m ex­tremely proud of this team. I’ve never been a part of any­thing like this be­fore,” Great Mills se­nior Davon Keemer said. “This is a one in a mil­lion feel­ings I’ll feel all my life. This will be one of those mem­o­ries that ev­ery sin­gle one of us will re­mem­ber.”

“I can’t re­ally [put it into words how I feel now], but I’m real proud,” said Great Mills se­nior Dee Barnes, who scored a team-high 14 points. “We came a long way this year. We had a tough sea­son, a real tough sea­son but we played our heart out.”

FILE PHOTO BY MIKE REID

Great Mills’ Dee Barnes re­leases a shot as St. Charles’ Tre­maine Ch­es­ley, left, and Ramerik Daniels move in to de­fend the Class 3A South Re­gion Sec­tion II fi­nal. Barnes fin­ished with 23 points as the Hor­nets won 66-53.

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