CLASS 2A STATE BOYS’ BASKETBALL STATE SEMIFINAL
Digital Harbor (15-8) vs. Gwynn Park (17-8)
When: Friday, 3 p.m.
Where: Comcast Center, University of Maryland
Path to Comcast
Digital Harbor defeated Chesapeake (108-60), Lake Clifton (72-70), Randallstown (72-58) and Edmondson (80-55) to win North Region; Gwynn Park defeated Long Reach (100-50), Glenelg (76-62) and Oakland Mills (52-48) to win South Region
Scoring: Digital Harbor-Antonio Manns (16 points per game); Gwynn Park-Brandon Ford (18 ppg.)
Rebounds: Digital Harbor-Manns (10 rpg.); Gwynn Park-Tion Barnes (8.3 rpg.)
Assists: Digital Harbor-Kevin Smith (8 apg.); Gwynn Park-Ford, and Daniel Henry (3 apg.)
Steals: Digital Harbor-Smith (3.6 spg.); Gwynn Park-Ford (53 total)
Blocks: Digital Harbor-Manns, Smith, and Nyme Manns (2 bpg.); Gwynn Park-Nick Walton and Marcel Boyd (30 total)
This is a matchup of underachieving regular season teams who’ve found consistency at the right time. After losing its final regular season match at home by 13 points, Gwynn Park knocked off three Howard County squads for its second straight 2A Final Four trip.
The Prince George’s County school ended No. 5 Oakland Mills’ perfect season in the region finals. The Yellow Jackets, a preseason top 10 squad in the D.C. area, wiped out a seven-point second half deficit and forced four turnovers in the final two minutes of regulation.
After an up-and-down 11-8 regular season, No. 8 Digital Harbor led wire-to-wire, bringing Edmondson’s season to a crashing halt in the North finals at Morgan State University. The south Baltimore school playoff started picking up momentum with a 72-70 come-from-behind quarterfinal victory at Lake Clifton as Kevin Smith hit the game-winning jumper with eight seconds remaining.
The talented backcourt of Smith (12 ppg. and 5 rpg.) and junior DaQuan Cook (14 ppg. and 7 rpg.) have finally started to live up to expectations while Nyme and Antonio Manns have provided more toughness in the paint. Gwynn Park counters with a senior-laden cast, led by Ford, a Howard University commit and Barnes (Bowie State).
Digital Harbor’s Johnnie Grimes on Gwynn Park: “Tion Barnes and Brandon Ford are their two heavy hitters so we’re going to keep the pressure on the ball, and maybe get some turnovers and easy buckets in transition. They play really strong defense.”
Gwynn Park’s Mike Glick on Digital Harbor: “They’re a lot like us, took some losses throughout the year and made the team better. They have excellent guard play, we have excellent guards. Our work is going to be cut out for us.”
By the numbers
8: Combined losses by Digital Harbor and Gwynn Park, both preseason Top 10 teams in Baltimore and Washington area, respectively, in December.
110: Combined points by Digital Harbor’s Kevin Smith and DaQuan Cook in postseason
2: Number of times Gwynn Park scored 100 points in a game this season
1: Wins by Gwynn Park in four state Final Four matches against Baltimore City schools. The Yellow Jackets beat Edmondson in 2A semifinals in 2000 before losing state title matches to Douglass (2002 and 2004; 3A) and City College (2A) last season
83: Points per game scored by Digital Harbor in postseason