It is crunch time in the MIAA B Conference and two crosstown basketball rivals had a showdown, Friday, with huge playoff implications, as Indian Creek hosted St. Mary’s in Annapolis.
Having won the first match-up, 62-60 in an overtime, Indian Creek completed a season-sweep of the Saints, gaining a critical tie-break advantage with 78-67 victory. St. Mary’s (9-15 overall, 4-7 MIAA B), however, is still percentage points ahead of both Indian Creek (6-14, 4-7) and Chapelgate Christian (4-7) in the chase for just one remaining playoff spot in the Red Division of the B Conference. All three teams still have two league games to play in the regular season to sort it out.
The evening featured an excellent match-up between big men Malik McKinney of Indian Creek and Josh Wallace of St. Mary’s. McKinney scored 11 points in the first quarter to help the Eagles build a 22-18 lead, but Wallace countered with 11 of his own in the second quarter to push the Saints on top, 38-32, at the half.
Indian Creek seniors Zion Chase and Donovan Moore combined for 16 points in the third quarter, 12 of which came from beyond the three-point arc. Their efforts fueled a huge 28 point quarter for the visiting Eagles that propelled them to a 60-48 lead heading into the final quarter. The Eagles then picked up the pace defensively and were able to pull away to a 75-60 lead with just over three minutes to play before finishing off a 78-67 win.
McKinney led the way for Indian Creek with 20 points, but he was joined in double-figures by a senior trio comprised of the aforementioned Chase and Moore and DaVon Beckford, who scored 18, 13 and 13 points, respectively. The 13 points from Moore were a career high.
Wallace led the Saints with 29 points, including 16 from the free throw line. Aaron McGriff and Ryan Gardner both joined Wallace in double figures St. Mary’s, with 12 and 11 points.
The Saints have a tough run with match-ups with Severn and Annapolis Area Christian, two teams battling for the top-seed in the division. Indian Creek hosts Chapelgate Christian on Wednesday night in Crownsville, in a battle that will likely eliminate the loser. Chapelgate also still must play Severn, next Friday in Ellicott City.