Loch Raven squeaks by Eastern Tech 45-38
Devon Jones basket in final minute proves to be the difference for the Raiders
Clinging to a 2 point lead with less than a minute to go Loch Raven coach Doug Able knew what he wanted to happen, so he called a timeout to let his team know his intentions.
"I wanted to run an isolation play and put the ball in Devon Jones' hands," said Able "We needed to let him create his own shot or get a good rebound opportunity for someone else."
Create is what Jones did, as he drove into the lane and nailed a pretty floater to give the Raiders a 42-38 lead, one in which they would not relinquish in their 45-38 victory over local foe Eastern Tech in a hard fought Baltimore County 1A/2A matchup played at Loch Raven's Diane George Gymnasium.
Jones, who led the Raiders with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steal and 2 assists echoed his coaches thoughts about that clutch possession.
"Coach called a timeout because he saw a mismatch," said Jones "He wanted me to waste some time on the clock and then get a good shot. My teammates did there part and it was my job to finish."
Loch Raven(9-8) also got support from Elliot Wiley, who finished with 11 points and 4 steals, and Tevin Dugger, who added 9 points and 4 rebounds.
The only Eastern Tech(7-9) player to finish in double figures was Sayvon Norman, who scored 16 points, while adding 7 rebounds. Ben Gettier chipped in with 8 points and 6 rebounds, and Cameron Pullen contributed with 6 points and 6 rebounds.
The difference in the ball game was three point shooting as Loch Raven was able to finish a modest 4-12 from beyond the arc, while Tech shot a dismal 3-26 from the outside. The Mavericks were able to get plenty of good looks, but on this evening the shots just didn't go down.
Loch Raven jumped out to a large lead early behind 8 straight points from Wiley, and after the first quarter they led 14-4.
The lead grew to 13 after a three ball from Jones, but Tech was able to close the half on a 5-0 run and at the break Loch Raven led 20-13.
Jones opened the second half with a nifty steal, saving the ball from going out of bounds by zinging a pass over to Wiley, who immediately returned the ball back to Jones for an easy layup and a 22-13 Raider lead.
The Mavericks then began to chip away at the lead. A strong drive right down the lane by Norman resulted in a 3 point play, Gettier connected on Tech's first three pointer of the night, after 12 straight misses, and Josh Marrow capped off the 8-0 run to make it a 24-23 game.
Dugger responded with 5 straight of his own, and when Wiley converted on a nicely run fastbreak layup the Raider lead was back to seven at 30-23.
The shot of the night came at the end of the third quarter from Loch Raven's Mark Magtanong. After the Mavericks Andre Miles converted two free throws with 1.1 seconds left Magtanong took an inbounds pass on the right side and heaved up a shot from about three quarters of the court away from the basket. As the buzzer sounded the shot went through the net and the referee emphatically pronounced that the basket was good, and the Raiders went to the fourth with a 35-28 lead.
Norman hit a three pointer to open the fourth to cut the Raider lead to 35-31, and the lead would stay between 4 and 7 for most of the quarter. With less than three minutes to go Tech had one last run in them, down 40-33.
Miles got a steal and a layup to make it 40-35, and Norman connected on two free throws to bring it to 40-38, setting up Jones for his late game dramatics.
Easter Tech did have one last shot to keep it close, but a three from the corner by Cameron Shields was off the mark, bringing a fitting end to the closely contested matchup.
Able had nothing but high praise for his opponents on the evening. "Eastern Tech is a very good team. They are disciplined, well coached and they play the game the right way," Able said "They kept hanging around and made a run at the end, but we had enough discipline to run our stuff and pull out a win."
Both teams play home games next Wednesday. Loch Raven plays host to Lansdowne, while Tech will go up against New Town.