Basketball players usually have trouble sleeping before big games, but Severna Park senior Tysheem Jones was so excited about his 23-point performance against Meade, he was tossing and turning all night after the Falcons' win.
After sitting out the first quarter and scoring two points in the second, Jones used his frustration as motivation. He scored 15 points in the second half and six in overtime, leading the Falcons to a 61-52 win over host Meade on Dec. 19. It was the first loss of the season for the Mustangs, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
"I was a little upset," Jones said of his team's 19-point deficit. "I took it upon myself to bring us back. That was a huge win for us. I couldn't even sleep . . . It was really big, but we don't want that to be the highlight of the season."
The win came 24 hours after Severna Park defeated a tough Baltimore Polytechnic Institute team and gave the Falcons a 3-1 overall record. Junior center Jim Ledsome had six points and 10 rebounds. The Falcons also made 9 of 12 free throws during overtime to clinch the win. Junior guard Dan Reagan went 6 for 6.
"[My teammates] helped me out so much," Jones said. "Without them, I'm nothing."
'Rusty' Johnson Leads Panthers With one teammate in foul trouble and another limping on a bum ankle, Annapolis junior Darius Johnson came through off the bench. Johnson, also an all-county linebacker, scored 20 points, leading the Panthers to a 70-47 win against Southern on Dec. 19 in their conference opener at Annapolis.
Junior forward Elliott DeVoe sprained his ankle in the second half and senior Josh Johnson had four fouls by the end of the third period. Darius Johnson scored 16 points in the second half.
"I just want to win the championship; that's what I'm trying to do," said Darius Johnson, who picked up two quick fouls in the first half and took a seat. "I didn't play that much in the first half so I was rusty. I thought I should redeem myself when the team really needed me. I'm the third option, so I just stepped up when I was supposed to."
Northeast's Connelly Heads South Northeast sophomore Stephanie Connelly is one of the few people fortunate enough to say she went to a bowl game this holiday, and even luckier to say she played in one.
Connelly, an All-Met golfer and two-time state champion, is competing in the Junior Orange Bowl Dec. 27-30 at the Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, Fla. It will be Connelly's first time playing in the international tournament. She was one of 40 girls to be accepted.
"I'm so excited, I've already got some color to me," said Connelly, who will spend Christmas Eve fishing with her father in Key West. "The competition is going to be really good. I think I'll do all right. My short game is coming around. We practiced that today and yesterday a lot. I'm hitting it pretty well."