FROM STAFF REPORTS
HAGERSTOWN — DeAndre Davis and Frank Holloway finished with double-doubles and Garrett got tremendous support from its bench to knock off the No. 2 team in all of NJCAA Division II, Beaver (Pa.) County, 76-73, and advance to today’s Region XX-B Tournament championship game with a berth in the national tournament hanging in the balance.
Davis had 17 points and 11 rebounds by the end of the night and Holloway almost matched that by adding 16 points to go with 11 boards.
Yannick Zanfack added 14 points and four assists and Corey Groom scored nine points.
The sixth-seeded Lakers (18-10) join the College of Southern Maryland in a final few saw coming after the seventh-seeded Hawks upset Dundalk, leaving the top five seeds absent from the tournament’s final day.
“We were coming off two loses at home and we really needed to refocus to be able to stand a chance against a team like Beaver,” Garrett coach Dennis Gibson said. “And that’s what everyone did. They refocused and played the best game of the season. The big difference was Davis and the play we got from our bench.”
Davis made eight field goals and converted his only foul shot for the 17 points, and Gibson pointed to players like Van Jones, who came off the bench and hit two quick 3-pointers, that helped seal the win for the Lakers.
“Davis was phenomenal, Jones hit some really big shots off the bench and D.J. Ritchie came back from spraining his ankle earlier in the week to score 10 points for us. We knew that we had to keep them in the 70s or 80s to have a chance, so I’m really proud of the way we played defense against a team averaging over 100 points a game.”
Niamia Fisher led Beaver with 20 points. EJ Blackwell added 17 and Tremain Brown scored 16.
Beaver finished 25-3 with two of those losses coming to area schools — Garrett and Potomac State, a 77-71 winner over the Titans on Feb. 1.
The Lakers take on Southern Maryland in today’s 2 p.m championship game at the ARCC at Hagerstown Community College.
Potomac State 77
Northern Virginia 73
HAGERSTOWN — After building a big lead through the first half and first part of the second, Potomac State relaxed and almost allowed Northern Virginia to steal a win before Reggie Baker and the Catamounts righted the ship for a 77-73 win and a spot in the Region XX-A Tournament finals today against top-seeded Howard.
The Cats (19-8) clawed their way to a 41-26 lead at halftime, but Northern Virginia trimmed the lead down to seven with seven minutes remaining and got it to a four-point spread with 1:30 remaining. The Raiders had a chance to tie the score at 76 with 10 second left but missed a 3-pointer.
Baker scored a game-high 31 points on nine field goals and 11 of 15 shooting at the line, and added five rebounds. Derylton Hill added 21 points and Marcus Banks finished with nine. Jamal Ferguson had eight points and eight assists.
“We played hard and competed for the first 33 minutes, but over the last seven NOVA made a run at us and almost caught up,’’ said Potomac State coach Justin Anderson. “At this point of the year, when you’re in the playoffs, you really need to have that sense of urgency and start valuing the basketball down the stretch.”
Anderson also called it one of the team’s best rebounding efforts of the season with the Cats beating the Raiders 45-24 on the boards.
Khalil Jabbie scored 22 points for Northern Virginia.
Potomac State will face Howard today at noon with a trip to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament going to the winner.