CLASS 3A STATE BOYS’ BASKETBALL SEMIFINAL
Centennial (19-6) vs. South Hagerstown (21-3)
When: Thursday, 5 p.m.
Where: Comcast Center, University of Maryland
Path to Comcast
Centennial defeated Howard (58-57), James M. Bennett (83-62), and Atholton (54-51) to win East Region; South Hagerstown defeated Clarksburg (70-52), John F. Kennedy (54-42) and Quince Orchard (54-48) to win West Region
Scoring: Centennial-Aaron Adams (17 points per game); South Hagerstown-Andre Pierre (15.5 ppg.)
Rebounds: Centennial-Adams (8 rpg.); South Hagerstown-Pierre (8.5 rpg.)
Assists: Centennial-Keonte Potts (4 apg.); South Hagerstown-Carlton Davis (3.2 apg.)
Steals: Centennial-Adams & Potts (47); South Hagerstown-Pierre (43)
Blocks: Centennial-Adams (11); South Hagerstown-Devon King (37)
Centennial makes its inaugural appearance on the state’s biggest stage. The Ellicott City school’s road to College Park wasn’t easy.
Against Howard, the top-seeded Eagles drew a defensive charging call with less than three seconds remaining in regulation. In the regional finals against Atholton, Adams forced Atholton’s Cory Britton to miss on a potential game-winning shot with less than 10 seconds left in the game. The Eagles squandered a 12-point fourth quarter advantage.
Adams, an All-Howard County first-team selection and Potts have keyed the Eagles’ historic run. The duo has accounted for 44-percent of Centennial’s postseason scoring.
South Hagerstown secured its first Final Four berth since 2004 with a fourth quarter push against Quince Orchard in West finals. The Rebels went a 9-0 run to break a 38-38 tie before needing scores by Darcio Provitt and Pierre in the final minute to repel a Quince Orchard surge.
The Rebels offer a talented trio with Pierre, King (11.3 ppg. and 8.1 rpg.) and the 6-foot-6 Provitt (10.4 ppg. and 8.4 rpg.). South Hagerstown has won in its last seven decisions.
Centennial’s Chad Hollwedel on South Hagerstown: “We’re going to have a little bit of trouble with their size, but the flip side is we can expose our quickness.”
South Hagerstown’s Kevin Naylor on Centennial: “We don’t know anything other than what we’ve gathered on the internet. We’ve been able to make some pretty good adjustments.”
By the numbers
10: Total margin of Centennial’s two losses to No. 5 Oakland Mills, the Howard County league champs who went 25-0 before losing in 2A South finals
85: Combined points by Adams and Potts in postseason for Centennial
20: Points by King in South Hagerstown’s region final victory over Quince Orchard
17: Lead blown by South Hagerstown in 55-46 loss to Thomas Johnson, the Rebels’ last setback
76: State semifinal appearances by Centennial athletic teams before boys’ basketball clinched its first berth