Posted On: 02/28/18 9:05 PM
This evening in Timonium, Maryland two very familiar teams squared off against one another in the 4A North Section I Final. Two Baltimore County powerhouses in Perry Hall and Dulaney played each other for the second time this season, but these two teams are no stranger to meeting in this exact game almost every year. In a game full of intensity and excitement, Perry Hall earned a 64-63 win over the Lions and will advance to play Paint Branch in the regional final this Friday. Here are our takeaways from this contest.
Hardnett takes over in the second half
Senior forward LaQuill Hardnett was dominant in the second half, but more specifically in the third quarter. The Cincinnati commit scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the frame, which included two huge dunks that ignited the Perry Hall fans. With only 2:24 to go in the game, Hardnett picked up his fifth foul and was disqualified. From there, the Gators were able to hold onto their five-point lead when he exited, but his presence was surely missed.
Conway has another impressive showing
For a freshman to come into a game of this magnitude and perform the way Ryan Conway did for Dulaney really speaks to just how special of a player he can be. The 6-foot-1 floor general finished with a game-high 22 points that included three triples. He was consistent throughout the entire 32 minutes and scored from all three levels. The most impressive makes came when Conway would beat his match up off the dribble and finish with a floater over the extended arms of the opposing 6’9 trio from Perry Hall.
Holley and Higgs come up big late
After Hardnett fouled out, the other two seniors Tyler Holley and Anthony Higgs wouldn’t allow their team to let up by making big play after big play. Holley was aggressive in collected defensive rebounds and limiting Dulaney to one shot possessions. The future Morgan State quarterback converted on five of his six free-throws to keep the Gators ahead with time running down. Higgs scored nine of his 15 points in the second half. None were bigger than the two-handed flush he had to put the Gators up seven with less than three minutes to go. The Ole Miss commit did a nice job manning down the paint after Hardnett went to the bench.
Josh Cornish never quits
Cornish simply doesn’t know how to play anything under 110 percent no matter if his team is down 20 or up 20. The Southern Utah commit drilled two huge three pointers in the last 26 seconds to pull the Lions within one after trailing by five with 1:03 remaining. The 6-foot-1 sniper finished with 19 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter.
Perry Hall continues their road to repeat
Two playoff games, two one-point wins for the Gators thus far. While they played a better overall game tonight than Monday night’s game against Mervo, they’ll need a flawless one this Friday against a very good Paint Branch team. Last year, Perry Hall defeated Paint Branch in the regional final in a very heated match up where the Panthers’ coach was ejected. One thing is safe to say, this game will be filled with tension from start to finish. We’ll see if the reigning 4A champs have what it takes to return to the Xfinity Center and protect their title for the second-straight season.