Broadneck earned a trip to its first Maryland state final by relying on what carried it all season: a size advantage and a willingness to share the ball.
Both elements were central in a 72-57 win over Richard Montgomery on Thursday at Xfinity Center in the Maryland 4A semifinals in which the No. 12 Bruins never trailed.
Broadneck (22-5) was led by Che Colbert and Logan Vican, who scored 19 points each.
“I couldn’t ask for a better birthday gift,” said Bruins Coach John Williams, who celebrated his 46th birthday Thursday. “As a lifelong Broadneck fan and as a student-athlete who went to three regional championships and lost all three, to have these guys put me on their back here, it’s been a dream come true.”
Even luck appeared to side with the Bruins. With three-tenths of a second remaining in the first quarter, Jamar Young beat the clock for a short field goal off an inbounds play, putting his team up 17-11.
“I like to start the game off with a lot of intensity because the team builds off my energy,” Young said. “If I start off strong and fast paced, the team will follow behind my lead.”
The Rockets (24-2) closed the gap in the second quarter with three-pointers by Brian Sadeghi and Miles Gally, but Colbert answered for the Bruins, scoring eight points in the quarter to lift Broadneck to an 11-point lead at halftime.
The Rockets came out in the third quarter intent on getting to the rim and the free throw line, but they didn’t convert a field goal until 3:23 remained in the quarter. Broadneck, meanwhile, expanded its lead to 18.
Gally scored six of his 12 points in the fourth, but Vican effectively vanquished the Rockets by scoring seven straight points to all but seal the result and send the Bruins into the final against No. 5 Eleanor Roosevelt.
“Our motto is to hang our hat on the defensive end and take care of defensive glass, and I thought we did a pretty decent job of that,” Williams said. “When we did get a defensive rebound, we were getting the ball out and running, pushing the tempo.”
Thursday’s semifinal marked the first time the Rockets had reached the state’s final four since 1967.
Kordell Lewis led RM with 18 points. Senior Djordje Orcev added 13. Sharpshooter Ryan Cornish battled foul trouble in the first half and couldn’t get it going Thursday, finishing with six points.
The Broadneck-Roosevelt 4A state final is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday.