As the final minutes ticked off the clock, there was no sobbing on the sidelines for 13th-ranked Gwynn Park. The game’s outcome had long been decided. Coach Mike Glick donned his black suit jacket well before the postgame handshake, which was interesting only for the unusually high number of tournament officials chaperoning both teams.
The Yellow Jackets fell behind early, then were routed in the second half, losing 75-45 to Digital Harbor of Baltimore in a feisty Maryland 2A semifinal on Friday night at Comcast Center.
Five days after knocking off undefeated Oakland Mills in an emotional regional final, Gwynn Park was unable to muster another big victory. The Yellow Jackets (17-9) trailed 11-6 after one quarter and 29-18 at halftime before things quickly unraveled.
Then, midway through the fourth quarter, Gwynn Park guard Daniel Henry and Digital Harbor guard Kevin Smith engaged in a lengthy staredown under the basket. That was followed by several players on both teams exchanging shoves and menacing looks. Henry and Smith were assessed technical fouls and Gwynn Park was assessed a team technical foul, apparently for having players come off the bench.
The game finished without further incident, though there was plenty of tension.
“I’m not used to it, we’re not used to being in that situation,” Glick said. “We’re usually very resilient and can get back in games. It was a weird feeling. I was glad we kept our composure and were able to shake hands at the end.
“We were thoroughly outplayed in every aspect of the game. It doesn’t detract from our season, but it’s tough to end our season on this note.”
Henry led Gwynn Park with 15 points. But leading scorer Brandon Ford, who entered averaging 18 points, was held to a season-low two as Digital Harbor played a box-and-one defense on him.
“We studied the film on YouTube, that’s all we had,” said Rams Coach Johnnie Grimes, whose team is trying for its second state title in three seasons. “It worked.”
Digital Harbor (15-7) advanced to Saturday’s 6 p.m. final against Easton, which defeated South Carroll, 69-52.
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