ANNAPOLIS, FEB. 5 -- Annapolis Coach John Brady knew it would take a great effort by the 16th-ranked Panthers tonight to defeat unbeaten and 13th-ranked Meade.
But he never expected his team to make 17 of 21 shots from the floor in the second half while knocking off the Mustangs, 74-65, in a crucial Anne Arundel AA League game at Annapolis.
After splitting their first four games, the Panthers (14-2, 6-2 in the league) are unbeaten in their last 12 contests. Meade's winning streak ended at 15 and its league record fell to 7-1.
"We had to play that way to beat them," Brady said. "We had to be patient and take good shots. You can't run with them. We just had to make them play defense a little more and take good shots."
The Panthers took good shots and hit almost all of them after intermission. Point guard Mike Selby led the Panthers with 16 points, 11 in the second half. Kevin Alarie had 11 of his 15 points in the crucial third quarter and Fred Butler finished with 11.
Meade led by 13 points in the first quarter and held a 33-27 advantage at halftime. But in the second half, the Panthers were nearly flawless. They made 10 of 12 shots in the third quarter and seven of nine in the fourth.
"At halftime, Coach stressed to be patient and look for a good shot inside 18 feet," said Selby, who made all four of his second-half shots. "That was his main point. We got the good shots and everything fell."
Meade's Denard Montgomery had 10 points in the first quarter and finished with 17. Corey Wallace added 15 and Adrian Burgess 12.
Tonight's game was similar to the meeting between the teams Dec. 8. In that one, Meade took a 24-point lead at home and had to hold off a late rally by the Panthers to win by seven. Tonight, before a madhouse at Annapolis, the Mustangs looked as if they were going to blow out the Panthers early.
Meade led by 21-10 after the first quarter, holding Annapolis to four of 15 shooting. Montgomery from the inside and Rob Riddick from the outside combined for 17 points in the period.
But the Panthers made eight of 16 shots in the second period to close to 33-27 at halftime.
It was 52-52 after three quarters and then Annapolis outscored the Mustangs, 22-13. After Riddick made two free throws, the Panthers scored 11 straight points to take a 63-54 lead with five minutes left.