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N. Point boys rout Glen Burnie in 4A East semis

By AJ MASONStaff writer

GLEN BURNIE Relentless defensive pressure is where it all starts for head coach Jimmy Ball and the North Point boys basketball team.

Bringing pressure was an understatement for the defending Class 4A state champions, who had second-seed Glen Burnie of Anne Arundel County in shambles all game long in Thursday night’s 4A East Region semifinal matchup.

The third-seeded Eagles wreaked havoc all night and caused numerous turnovers as they exploded to a 100-61 road victory.

After scoring in the 90s six times this season, the Eagles, who are averaging 81 points a game, finally hit the century mark for the first time since the 2008-09 regular season.

“Everything comes from our pressure, we don’t get tired,” Ball said. “We have parts on our bench that we can sub in. That’s why I think we are better than last year because we are a lot deeper.”

Before the playoffs even started, Ball pointed out that his team loves to play on the road and enjoys playing in that atmosphere.

“It doesn’t matter where we play, big deal. If we have to play on the road, then we play on the road,” Ball added as his team won its 12th straight and fourth straight by at least 30 points.

North Point (23-2 overall) secured a trip to its second consecutive regional final where it defeated top-seed Arundel, also of Anne Arundel County, on Saturday 72-52 to advance to this week’s state semifinals.

It was the second-straight season that North Point steamrolled its way to double digits over Glen Burnie, where the Eagles won last season in the regional final on their home court.

“We knew it was going to be a tough place to play,” Ball said. “We had to come out aggressive and have a lot of activity, and we came out and did what we had to do. I was very proud of what we did.”

As a team, the Eagles shot 36 of 71 (51 percent) from the field and 19 for 23 (83 percent) from the free-throw line.

When Glen Burnie pressed full-court, North Point broke it and scored layup after layup. When the hosts went zone, junior guard Markell Young was a zone buster all night, finishing with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, converting on six of 11 three-point attempts. He had 14 points in the first half.

“Once I get rolling, it feels like everything is going in,” Young said. “We’re playing real good and we haven’t played our best basketball yet.”

Junior point guard Marquis Wright, who controlled the pace of the game with his dribble drives and sneaky scoring ability, finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists.

Senior guard Tre’ Mouton added 15 points and eight rebounds.

Junior Matt Bonds (9 rebounds) and Steven Cole finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively, while junior Naim Muhammad added eight points and eight rebounds.

“We had to come out strong and prove a statement,” Wright said. “We played defense, executed plays and hit jump shots.”

Ball said, “Marquis is always ready to play, but tonight I could see it in his face, he really wanted it. ... Markell and Marquis hit some big threes to open up the game for us. It feels good to be back in the region finals again.”

With an anticipated Glen Burnie crowd on hand, the Eagles quickly took control with a 25-15 lead after the first quarter and extended that to a 45-26 advantage by halftime.

Glen Burnie still trailed 67-49 after three quarters, but North Point scorched the nets in the fourth with 33 points to close out the game.

North Point 100, Glen Burnie 61

North Point 25 20 22 33

Glen Burnie 15 11 23 12

North Point: Young 24, Wright 18, Mouton 15, Bonds 11, Cole 10, Muhammad 8, Davis 4, Wimbush 4, Fooks 4, Reid 2

Glen Burnie: Brown 18, Spain 11, Miller 10, Watkins 9, Archie 7, Fisher 6

Free throws: North Point 19-23 (Mouton 5-5, Cole 4-4); Glen Burnie 11-14 (Brown 6-8)

3-point goals: North Point 9 (Young 6, Wright 2, Fooks); Glen Burnie 2 (Spain, Watkins)