Boys Basketball: Glenelg Country Wins First Ever MIAA-B Title
Glenelg Country defeated Annapolis Area Christian School by a final score of 75-62.
The buzzer had sounded and the Dragons had won, 75-62. The MIAA-B champions had gone 21-1 in league play.
Glenelg Country fans celebrated at mid-court as the players all got a moment to hold the MIAA-B Championship hardware, Coach Q surveyed the scene and reflected on the character defining moments that his team had endured throughout the season.
That was the first word out of the mouth of Glenelg Country’s coach, after winning Glenelg Country’s first MIAA-B title in his first year as their coach.
The last time these two teams got together, Annapolis Area Christian jumped out to an early lead and Glenelg Country had to play catch up the rest of the way. In the end, the Dragons showed their resolve with a gritty comeback in the closing minutes.
A week prior to that, the team had lost their first and only conference game to Pallotti.
“As a family, we got a lot sharper.” Coach Quinlan recalls, “It was humbling, but it definitely sharpened us and took us to a higher level of maturity.”
When the two met tonight for higher stakes, it was a completely different story. With the championship title on the line, Glenelg Country was more prepared than ever thanks to a few rounds of adversity.
You could see the fire in their eyes tonight. The big men for Glenelg Country were poised from the get-go.
“Our motivation came from last year’s thirty point loss to St. Paul’s,” explained Isaiah Miles after the game.
Miles and Warren Powers Jr. both scored 18 points. Miles had 18 rebounds to go with his four blocks. He smoothly knocked down a few mid range jumpers and hit an early three to help the Dragons to crawl out to an early lead.
Powers had three blocks of his own. Offensively, he was very reliable in the post. Whenever they needed a bucket from Powers, the Dragons got it.
“I thank God for allowing me to play the way I played.” A grateful Powers lauded his coach after the game, “Coach really emphasizes defense and that’s what helps us get out of tough situations.”
For AACS, Connor Lipinski had an outstanding game. The Eagles’ point guard showed great poise by getting into the lane and drawing fouls from bigger defenders. Down the stretch, Lipinski was nearly perfect from the free throw line. His ability to get to the line was the only thing that kept AACS in the game.
Perhaps one of the biggest momentum-changing plays was a clean but very physical pick that the Dragons’ Lawrence Davis set on Lipinski near half-court. The two banged thighs and both came up hobbling. Lipinski had a noticeable limp for the rest of the game.
Regardless of the injury, what made the difference tonight was what the coach had emphasized before the game.
Written on the mirror in the Dragons’ locker room were little notes about the execution of their various sets. Above these notes about execution, accentuated with stars, were Coach Q’s two keys to the game: “TEAM UNITY” and “URGENT ‘D’.”
Kevin Boyd certainly got the message.
Early in the game Eagles guard Phillip Perry picked off an errant Dragons’ pass. Perry was on his way to an easy layup until Boyd chased him down to contest what would have been an easy two points. Although Perry was fouled, he missed both free throws.
This single play set the tone for the rest of the game. The Dragons played tough defense and when the bench players rotated into the game, everybody had faith that they could get the job done.
Boyd would be relegated to the bench early in the first quarter with two fouls, but Chancellor Barnard picked up where Boyd left off.
The freshman guard had 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Another key contributor for the Dragons was Lawrence Davis. When Isaiah Miles went to the bench in the second and third quarters, Davis did a great job filling in.
Both Barnard and Davis received praise from their head coach after the game, “The key to this win was our subs. They helped us get inside, gave us rest, and confidence.”
Also inside the locker room was a poster, created by Quinlan’s daughter. The poster was an image of a ladder that had three steps. The three steps represented the three rounds the Dragons had to win in order to win the championship.
After all the interviews and the courtside celebrations were over, Quinlan entered the locker room. He motioned for Ben Koffel to move the Dragon to the top of the ladder. After the senior captain placed the Dragon at the top of the poster, the team rallied together for one last hurrah before a few players of the players exchanged hugs with the coach.
All that was left to cap off the championship victory was a Gatorade shower for the coach, courtesy of Warren Powers Jr. and his mini Gatorade bottle.
Glenelg Country School (75):
Isaiah Miles 18; Warren Powers Jr. 18; Kevin Boyd 11; Chancellor Barnard 11;
Annapolis Area Christian School (62):
Conner Lipinski 29; Tyler Lewis 9;
Halftime score: 37-28 GCS