Pratt and Green lead the way as Annapolis comes from behind to top Spalding in overtime

by Donald Daniels

Despite trailing for more than half the game against Archbishop Spalding, Annapolis High School never gave up in its match-up with the Cavaliers, Tuesday evening, in the championship game of the Annapolis Area Christian Summer League. The Panthers’ persistence paid, as they kept fighting and ended up on the right side of a 56-52 overtime victory to claim the title.

Craig Pratt scored a team-high 18 points for the Panthers while Annapolis big man Xavier Green had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Spalding got a great showing from Ty Peterson, who scored a team-high 18 points, and C.J. Scott wasn’t far behind with 16.

“We really just tooled around with the lineup to make sure everyone got in and a got a chance to fill their role,” Annapolis coach Meiko Ross, Sr. said.

Down by one with 16 seconds left in regulation the Panthers were able to get a clean shot for Demari Turner, but it rolled in and out and, as he did all game long, Green hauled in the rebound. The Panther forward was immediately fouled on the shot attempt putting him on the charity with four seconds left. Green was unable to make either free throw, but on his second miss Turner (8 points) snagged the rebound and was fouled on his put back attempt with one second remaining. Turner missed the first, but was able to connect on the second to the tie the game and force overtime.

“Our composure as a team really helped up down the stretch,” Green said.

The extra session belonged to the Panthers as Pratt buried a jumper and Green hit a layup to give Annapolis a four point advantage. Peterson sank a jumper just outside the free throw line, but unfortunately for Spalding it was there only score in overtime. Green and Meiko Ross Jr. made a free throw apiece to seal the win.

“I was just trying to go home with a win,” Green said about making his free throw in overtime.

Spalding raced out to an early 6-1 lead with free throws from Leon Elung, a jumper from Jay Boughking and a Scott layup. The Cavaliers never trailed for the majority of the first half thanks to the strong shooting of Peterson from the perimeter. Trailing by five with just over four minutes left in the opening half, the Panthers over took the Cavaliers going on a 10-3 run with Green and Pratt leading the way, giving Annapolis a 26-24 halftime lead.

“Their communication, making the extra pass, sticking together and playing as a team was really nice to see,” Ross said.

Green continued his strong performance in the post and increased the Panther lead to five when scored on a put-back layup while being fouled and converted the ensuing free throw attempt. Annapolis remained in control of the lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but the Cavaliers didn’t go away. Josh Rivers connected on a long jumper from the left baseline which was followed by Peterson trifecta giving Spalding a 40-37 advantage with over nine minutes left in regulation. Spalding held a one possession lead for the final eight minutes, then the Panthers were able to close the gap down the stretch.

“The biggest thing is that we shot ourselves in the foot,” Spalding coach Josh Pratt said. “When you rebound or shoot free throws well you lose to teams like Annapolis. This just gives us something to focus on moving forward.”

Pratt is getting his first work in with his new team after taking over the program in the spring.

ANN 26 24 – 6 — 56
AS 24 26 – 2 – 52
ARCHBISHOP SPALDING: Elung 5, Boughking 4, Scott 16, Peterson 18, Clark 6, Rivers 3. TOTALS: 16 16-28 52.
ANNAPOLIS: Ross: 5, Pratt 18, Green 13, McIver 8, Turner 8, Williams 2, Washington 2. TOTALS: 19 12-20 56.