With the game hanging in the balance Monday, Broadneck High’s Darnell Solomon weaved his 6-foot-4 frame to the basket at will. Bobby Bates threw his body on the floor. Their efforts were the difference as the No. 13 Bruins topped No. 15 Glen Burnie, 54-50, in a key Anne Arundel County match in Cape St. Claire.

Bates led all scorers with 18 points while Solomon added 17 for Broadneck (14-2 overall, 8-2 Anne Arundel). Jamar Kane had 12 points for Glen Burnie (12-4, 8-2 Anne Arundel), and Larry Mike finished with 11.

The Bruins ran off 10 unanswered points in the closing three minutes to knock the Gophers out of first place. Arundel, a 68-45 winner over Chesapeake-Anne Arundel Monday, moved into sole possession of first.

Broadneck lost its share of first Friday evening after a 71-66 loss at home to Annapolis.

“It was tough loss, but we got over it,” said Solomon, a junior forward. “We came out and gave it our all.”

“Coach was telling us this is a big game in the county and there’s more to come,” said Bates. “We knew we had to play harder in the second half and we did that down the stretch.”

Trailing 47-44, Bates hit a short jumper then after stopping the Gophers on the ensuing possession, Solomon took over. He made a nifty spin move in the lane to score and was fouled. Solomon hit the free throw to complete the three-point play.

Solomon came back down for Broadneck with a one-handed follow up his own miss for a 51-47 advantage with 95 seconds left. Bates added three free throws in the final seconds.

“The right side was open so I had to go for it,” said Solomon of his lead basket. “At the beginning of the season, coach told me to take over and do things as a team.”

Led by Bates, Broadneck harassed Glen Burnie’s ballhandlers in the closing moments. After Solomon’s basket, Bates knocked the ball away from the Gophers’ Larry Mike near the sidelines, and save it inbounds to Solomon who sent the ball down court for Taquan Colbert.

Colbert couldn’t get control of the ball, but a tracking Bates got possession in the corner and quickly called timeout. Though a relatively small audience was in attendance, Bruins’ coach John Williams said Monday’s game had a playoff atmosphere.

“I thought we had some big buckets and made a few stops,” said Williams. “The refs definitely allowed us to play this out which worked to our advantage.”

“The game was loose so we had to be tough and physical because they [referees] weren’t calling much, but that’s how we like to play,” Bates said. “We knew if we wanted to win we had to get the rebounds, get on the floor and we did that.”

The Bruins opened up a 36-29 in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Bates, but Glen Burnie pulled even as Arturro Archie’s halfcourt prayer was answered at quarter’s end. After five lead changes and a tie to start the fourth, Kane’s three-pointer presented the Gophers with a 45-42 advantage.

bobby bates and darnell solomonGlen Burnie led 47-44 with about 3:30 remaining in regulation, but didn’t score again until Rob Pierce’s three-pointer at the buzzer. Gophers’ coach Mike Rudd said his team didn’t make plays in critical moments.

“We missed so many easy put backs, we’ve made those shots all season,” said Rudd. “The six for 11 from the foul line for them was pretty good, the two times we got there said a lot. It was a physical basketball game.”

The chase for the Anne Arundel County title is too close to call with four teams (Old Mill also 8-2) within a game of each other. The league champ plays Howard County’s best, likely No. 9 Oakland Mills, for the District V championship, Feb. 23 at Mount Hebron.

The Class 4A East Region postseason picture will develop in the coming weeks. Charles County’s North Point (16-0 overall) currently has the inside track to the No. 1 seed.

“We understand there’s going to be a lot of head-to-head matchups in the next couple of weeks,” said Williams, whose team has a key match with Arundel Friday evening. “We hope to take care of our business.”