The Capital All-Stars, giving away an average of more than eight inches on the front line, used a four-guard offense to wear down the U.S. All-Stars and came from seven points behind to win, 82-79, last night before 11,022 fans at Capital Centre.
Jeff Baxter's two free throws with 20 seconds left broke a 79-79 tie, and Doug Turner added a free throw with four seconds left to secure the local team's fourth win in five years.
The Capital All-Stars were led by Northwestern's Len Bias (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Mackin's Johnny Dawkins (19 points, six assists), who shared their team's most valuable player honor.
The Capital squad befuddled the U.S. players--whose average height was 6-feet-6 1/2--with an aggressive defense and a fast break offense.
The other guards in Capital Coach Gene Doane's plan--Linwood Davis (10 points), Baxter (four) and Turner (five), did an excellent job of containing the U.S. team's big men, who were ineffective during most of the game.
"The reason I started the four-guard offense was for quickness and ball handling," said Doane of Seneca Valley. "We knew we couldn't play with their big men, but we thought we could wear them down and keep our guys fresh for the second half."
Constantly harassing Brad Daugherty and Kerry Boagni, the Capital All-Stars were able to take numerous shots on offensive rebounds, while the frustrated visitors were forced to foul.
"The second and third shots did us in in the last three minutes," said U.S. Coach Bob Wade of Dunbar in Baltimore.
Wade said he had confidence in his team's outside shooting, but when the U.S. All-Stars' inside game fell apart, no one took up the slack.
Bias, at 6-8 the tallest local player, moved easily underneath the basket and almost singlehandedly outrebounded 7-foot Brad Lohaus (two rebounds), 6-11 Daugherty (five) and 6-10 Boagni (four).
"They were slacking back on me, so that opened things up for Johnny (Dawkins). That's like money in the bank," said Bias, who scored half his points on jumpers from about 15 feet.
"Coach Doane didn't think they could check me when I dropped back to shoot from outside, and when they came up, I was quick enough to take it past them."
Boagni finished with 10 points, second to Eldridge Hudson's 11 points, and was named his team's MVP.
"We really weren't scared of them at all, even though everybody had been saying all week how they were going to crush us with their size," said Dawkins, who is headed for Duke in the fall.
"We knew we were better than them at guard, and I don't think they were ready for what we did, running four guards at them."
With the score tied at 67 midway through the fourth quarter, the U.S. team scored seven straight points to go ahead, 74-67. But the local team, behind four points by Bias, four by Dawkins and two more by Davis, managed to tie at 77 with 1:48 left.
The Capital All-Stars made all 11 free throws in the last quarter, overcoming a poor fourth-quarter effort from the field.
The team made its first six shots of the game and took an 18-10 lead. After one quarter, the Capital squad was leading, 20-14.
In the preliminary game, Crossland's Caldwell Coleman scored 11 points in the last quarter as the Suburban All-Stars came from 10 points behind to defeat their District counterparts, 84-80.