Maryland 2A boys
Gwynn Park blows out North Carroll to advance to
Saturday, March 13, 2010
With a double-digit lead that just kept growing in a Maryland 2A semifinal on Friday night, there was only one thing for 15th-ranked Gwynn Park to decide: Who would win the ongoing dunk competition between forwards Mike Hemsley and Tion Barnes?
It was late in the third quarter when Hemsley, a 6-foot-4 senior, blocked a shot on defense, raced down the court, took a pass and threw one down, earning the right to point at Barnes, who later rated it a "10." Not to be completely outdone, Barnes dunked on a fast break midway through the fourth quarter, then told Coach Mike Glick he was ready to join the other starters on the bench.
It was an enjoyable game on nearly every front for the Yellow Jackets, who started quickly and never were threatened in a 69-36 victory over North Carroll before 2,000 at Comcast Center.
"I just wanted to get a dunk since Mike got one," said Barnes, a 6-foot-5 junior. "Usually we see who can get the first dunk, but since it wasn't a close game, it was who can get the best dunk. You can see he won that one."
Standout senior guard Brandon Ford started the fun for Gwynn Park (20-6), making three consecutive three-pointers in the first two minutes as the Yellow Jackets quickly took over. It was 36-19 at halftime and the margin continued to widen.
"Everyone looks at us as a driving team," Ford said. "It was real important to knock those shots down. Then they started shading things toward me and forgot about" Barnes and Hemsley.
Ford scored 15 points and Barnes had 12 points and nine rebounds, part of a 47-25 rebounding advantage that included 22 on the offensive end.
"It probably was one of our best performances of the season," said Glick, adding that he thought a 73-72 loss to No. 13 Oxon Hill in the Prince George's County championship game helped his players focus for the postseason. "I was really impressed with how we played hard and played smart."
Up next: Gwynn Park will play in Saturday's 6 p.m. final against City College (22-2), which beat Easton, 64-38, in the second semifinal. Zzzzzzzz: With the drive from Brandywine taking longer than expected because of traffic and rain, Gwynn Park's players slept on the bus ride to College Park.