Maryland basketball roundup

Ford lifts Gwynn Park to win over Oakland Mills in Maryland 2A South region final

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Springbrook senior Deshaunt Walker scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half as the Blue Devils pulled away from ninth-ranked Richard Montgomery in the Maryland 4A West region final Sunday night at Blair High in Silver Spring.
By Paul Tenorio and Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gwynn Park junior Brandon Ford has a term for those clutch plays when a game is on the line. Like his steal and layup with 2 minutes 26 seconds left in overtime, or his drive and bucket that drew a foul 30 seconds later -- two plays that helped the Yellow Jackets to a 79-75 overtime win over Oakland Mills on Saturday in the Maryland 2A South region final at Wise in Upper Marlboro.

"It's just mad stuff," Ford said. "Adrenaline, whatever you want to call it. I call it mad stuff."

Ford had a game-high 33 points -- including 18 in the fourth quarter and overtime -- to help Gwynn Park (19-5) advance to the state semifinals Friday at Comcast Center against North Carroll.

Ford's crucial plays over a 60-second stretch -- the steal and layup, then another nice drive and bucket that drew a whistle (he missed the free throw) and finally a crucial rebound in a crowd -- helped Gwynn Park's increase its lead to six with 1:28 remaining.

And when the lead was cut down time and again, Ford knocked down 4 of 4 free throw attempts.

"I just didn't want to lose," Ford said. "My teammates were just telling me to take over and they have trust in me, so I took it upon myself."

-- SPRINGBROOK 64, R. MONTGOMERY 54: As the fifth-ranked Blue Devils warmed up, many of their players wore shirts with a short saying on the front: "Got championships?" Of course, while the Blue Devils are aiming for their third consecutive state title, the fact is that few of their players have their own commemorative rings.

But while Springbrook had no returning starters this season and just one player who had played a significant role, the Blue Devils once again are going back to the Maryland 4A semifinals.

Senior guard Deshaunt Walker, a key reserve last season, scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half as the Blue Devils pulled away from ninth-ranked Richard Montgomery in the Maryland 4A West region final before 1,500 at Blair High in Silver Spring.

"It's a completely different team," Blue Devils Coach Tom Crowell said. "People laughed when I said it was a rebuilding year. Well, when you have nobody back except one returning guy, I always think that's a rebuilding year."

Junior guard Devon Pestano added 12 points for Springbrook (23-1), which will play Eleanor Roosevelt on Thursday at Comcast Center.

Guard T.J. Fitzgerald led Richard Montgomery with 14 points, but the Rockets (21-3) failed in their bid to advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 1967.


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