Coming into this game, Coach Daniel said that his team had to match the intensity of Lake Clifton who were the favorites coming into this game. Not only will they have to match their intensity, but also stop them from getting out to an early lead. I have to tip my hat to coach Daniel because he is a man of his word.
New Town got off to an early start against the Lakers, out scoring them 29-20 in the first half. Quincy Roche was a big part of that first half performance with his presence in the paint. Despite Lake's size, they have a knack for controlling the paint, with strong defense and rebound but Roche had a good day, scoring and rebounding. He finished the game with 9 rebounds and 15 points, all in the paint.
The Titans never allowed the Lakers to turn the corner, something they are known for. In the semi-finals the Lakers came back from down 28-9 to win by 7 points against the Allegany Campers but the Titans held their composure. Lake Clifton has knack for wearing down their opponents by the quarter but the Titans played hard all four quarters, but the Lakers would cut that 9 point lead down in the fourth quarter.
Heading into the fourth the Titans were up 41-32. Lake would get a couple big buckets to cut the lead, going a 7-2 run led by Gary Jefferson. New Town ran out of timeouts with 4 minutes remaining, and the Lakers were only down 4 points. During the final stretch though, New Town made certain plays that I think determined this game, like Roche offensive rebound, and Malik Jones steal in the backcourt.
Junior Devin Smith, of New Town showed up in the final minute of the game scoring the 4 of their last 6 to close out the game. Devin scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, only shooting 4-14 from the field. Even though he didn't shoot well, his presence on the court was still felt. His partner in the backcourt, Matthew Johnson, led the team in scoring with 16 points, 75% from the from behind the arc. He also hit the last two free throws that sealed the game and championship for the Titans
Lake Clifton shouldn't hang their heads for one second. They had a great season and played a great game. Derrick Green, Garry Jefferson, and Joshua Parks all finished in double figures, combining for 40 points. The Lakers did a great jobs winning getting offensive boards, 17 on the game, but the missed free throws is what killed their chances, 16-23 at the line.
This is New Town's 2nd title in school history, which isn't no older than 15 years. This is a big win for Baltimore County who usually play 2nd fiddle to Baltimore City when it comes to basketball, not this year though.