When two teams know each other so well, from the coaches to the players and fans, it means a lot to pull-off a win against an in-conference rival, but someone has got to lose.

So when the Havre de Grace Warriors entered the fourth quarter trailing the Aberdeen Eagles, 32-28, they knew they were going to have to keep their composure and play smart basketball to claim the UCBAC win, and five lead-changes later, the Warriors were dancing away with the victory, 42-40.

“It was pretty similar the whole game,” Warrior coach Johnny Brooks explained; a back and forth, defensive struggle, and the half court shot by Monty Werts to end the first half cameback to be a factor in the game.  The kids know each other, they play together, and it is a fun game.”  

Limiting their fouls throughout the game did a number for the Warriors, who, after taking the lead with a Monty Werts basket for a 41-40 score, fouled Aberdeen’s Saddler Tevon Saddler before he could shoot, keeping the star from the line and forcing the Eagles to earn their points from the outside.

Eagles’ Gerrae Williams tried to make his way to the basket on the possession, driving from nearly half court, but Warrior Bond exiting the mob of players with the rebound would head to the line and sink one of this free throws for the game final, 42-40.

“I’m still teaching, so I was just explaining the situation to them and letting them know what we were dealing with,” Brooks said of the numerous timeouts in the final 40 seconds of the game.  “Sometimes you can get caught up in the situation when you are out here with a rival, so just slowing it down and explaining things to them can help.

huddleHavre de Grace trailed the Eagles after the first quarter, 9-7, but outscored their foes before the end of the half to lead by one, 20-19, and began playing catch-up coming out of the locker room at the half.

Saddler ended his performance with 17 points, leading Eagle teammates Adkins, Kenson and Branch, who all scored six-point games, while Werts and Darin Washington were top scorers for the Warriors, claiming 11 and nine-point performances, respectively.

“Defense and limiting them to one shot by getting the rebound was a big factor for us because they are very athletic and I wasn’t sure if we could play them man-to-man all game,” Brooks said.  “The kids stepped it up getting to the rim and not turning the ball over so that we could get a win here tonight.”

Havre de Grace next takes on C. Milton Wright, Feb. 1, as Aberdeen heads to Forrest Park, Feb. 2.

HDG   7   13   8   14   —  42
AB      9    10   13   8   — 40