With his team trailing Western Tech by a single point at halftime, Randallstown head coach Kevin English told his team that they needed to get after it on defense and finish on offensive in the second half.
The Rams did just that, using a swarming full-court press to turn a one point deficit at the half into a 16-point advantage after the third quarter on their way to a commanding 72-47 rout over the host Wolverines.
“Going into the locker room, [coach] told us that we were playing tough but we’re not putting the ball in the basket,” said Randallstown senior guard Nick Doolin. “So when we came out [in the second half], we knew that we had to step up the defense and we did. Then, we put the ball in the basket.”
Doolin and sophomore forward Marcus Varner each scored a game-high 22 points for Randallstown, which improved to 9-3 overall and 4-1 in Baltimore County 2A/1A league action.
Point guard Sammy Collins and forward Andre Jackson both scored 11 points to pace Western Tech (8-6, 4-2).
Corey Tabb (eight points) helped the Wolverines overcome a first quarter deficit to take a 26-25 lead into halftime.
But the entire complexion of the game changed in eight minutes. After a steal and layup by Varner and an and-one by Doolin, the Rams took their first double-digit lead of the game, 41-31, with 3:07 left in the third quarter.
In the last 1:35 of the third, Randallstown went on a 10-2 run, that included six points by Varner and two each by Michael Oyefusi and Kevin Perry to take a 51-35 lead into the final period.
The Rams forced the Wolverines into nine turnovers in the third and held them to just nine points to break open a close game. The fourth quarter went the same way, as Randallstown stretched its lead to as many as 29 points.
“We were giving up too many turnovers in the first half so we just had to pick up the intensity,” Varner said.
Western Tech turned the ball over 10 more times in the fourth quarter, many of which were turned into easy layups.
“[Defense] is what we’ve been trying to preach to them. We want every loose ball and they did that tonight,” said English.
English added that his team leaned on one particular player to get the team going:
“Kevin Perry is our defensive stopper. Everybody knows that he’s our defensive stopper. When he gets in the game, he just changes the whole tone and everybody followed him. The game plan was to get him on the court and do what he does best. He did it and the team followed him.”
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|Randallstown 72, Western Tech 47|
Curry-Davis 3, Hawkins 4, Varner 22, Doolin 22, Oyefusi 6, Caldwell 9, Perry 6. Totals 30 3-8 72.
Collins 11, Green 2, Tabb 8, Jackson 11, Crowell 6, Nelson 3, Carter 1, Pitts 2, Gibson 3.Totals 18 8-10 47.