- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
ANNAPOLIS — The Great Mills Hornets boys basketball team, the No. 11 seed in the Class 4A East Region playoffs, dawned its green road jerseys with yellow lettering Tuesday night during a visit to Broadneck High School, the sixth seed, in an opening-round contest.
The Hornets were so focused — even to the point that head coach Frank Peck noticed a pregame difference — that they treated the trip to Annapolis as a business trip that could have been better suited by wearing shirts and ties.
“I noticed a little different approach in the locker room before we began warming up,” Peck said. “I got a sense that they were focusing on tonight. Not that they were too tight or anything, but I thought they were focused. ... After they finished their [warmup] routine, you could see the energy building.”
Trevon Porter hit a basket midway through the first quarter that put the Hornets up 8-6, and Great Mills never trailed again in the contest en route to a 61-52 win and a trip to the region quarterfinals.
Meade High School, the third seed, hosted the Hornets last night in a contest that finished too late for inclusion in this edition. A Great Mills win would put it in the semifinals scheduled for Tuesday.
“We did not want to lose,” said Porter, who scored 13 points. “We don’t want to go home, and that’s the motivation right there. We want to win and keep going.”
The Hornets and Bruins matched basket for basket in the game, no team scoring any more than five unanswered points throughout the contest. But it was the 15-9 first-quarter lead that put the Hornets out in front, and the offensive focus turned to a focus on defense that kept a Broadneck three-point-shot-happy offense from being able to shoot open threes on its home floor.
Porter was one of three Hornets in double figures in the win, with Melquan Williams leading the way with 14 points and Ray McLeod adding in 12 points.
With the win-or-go-home dynamic, it was McLeod, the senior, who wanted to help lead the way in a playoff contest on the road.
“It was hard because we have a lot of young guys in the playoffs who have not experienced it,” McLeod said. “Me, being like one of the older kids and an upperclassmen, had to assume a leadership position in helping everybody out. All in all, we did pretty good.”
Williams, focused like his teammates, found motivation from another unusual source Tuesday night, seemingly feeding off the Broadneck student section.
“I like that kind of stuff,” Williams said. “It makes me get hype and want to play better.”
Williams’ biggest response to the student section came in the form of a playoff win.
“We did not want to lose,” Williams said. “A lot of people don’t think that we can make it far in the playoffs, and we just want to show everybody that we are a really good team. It’s time to turn up.”
Great Mills improved to 12-11 overall with the win Tuesday night, and Broadneck finishes its season at 9-14.
Broadneck junior Alex D’Alessio led all scorers with 19 points in the loss.
Leonardtown’s season ends
The Leonardtown Raiders, the 10th seed in the 4A East playoffs, went up to Pasadena in Anne Arundel County on Tuesday night to take on seventh-seeded Chesapeake in another first-round game.
When the game was over, the Raiders came back home with their season finished in a 60-58 loss.
Leonardtown (7-14) led 11-10 after the first quarter, 38-28 at halftime and went to the fourth quarter with a 46-45 lead. It would be for not, as Chesapeake was able to rally in the final period for the win.
Damien King led the Raiders with 17 points, while William Smith had 12 and Cortez Bush added 11.