Perryville cagers defeat Trojans en route to East Region I title

PERRYVILLE — The pendulum swing of momentum that carried Kent County to a thrilling 46-44 victory in the opening round of the Class 1A East Region I boys basketball tournament on Feb. 27 swung to the other extreme two nights later when top seed and host Perryville delivered a 97-64 knockout.

Freshman forward Andrew Clark, who had been called up from junior varsity for the last three games of the regular season, scored 13 of his game-high 26 points in the first quarter and Sean Beard (17 points) contributed eight as the Panthers raced out to a 29-9 lead that was never threatened.

“The first quarter hurt us,” Kent County head coach Sobaye Scott said matter-of-factly, “and then we’re playing catch-up the rest of the game.”

KCHS did not catch up;  the spread was 50-24 at halftime and 72-45 after three quarters.

Perryville (16-6) never took its foot off the proverbial accelerator, salting away the victory with a 25-point fourth quarter that featured scoring from seven players.

Scott said his squad played better in the second half, totaling 40 points to Perryville’s 47. 

Jonah Somerville (10 points) and Larry Steward (13 points) each put up eight points after halftime, and JySir Valentine added 14.

Valentine, the Trojans’ team MVP, finished with 25 points to bring his season total to 421. He was 15-of-21 from the free-throw line.

The Trojans divvied up the scoring among nine players, including freshman starter Dwan Harris (seven points) and junior varsity call-ups Kiyan Hynson, Zayvion Brown and RJ Peterson.

Perryville boasted scoring from 10 players, including double figures from Ben Clark (14 points) and Devin Clore (11 points) — in addition to Beard and Andrew Clark.

The Trojans finished 7-14, which coach Scott said was not an accurate reflection of their abilities.

“We were way, way better than our record,” he said in a telephone interview March 8.

Scott said the Trojans, who started the season with six first-year varsity players, improved over time. 

NOTES:  Perryville, which was a finalist last year, defeated Colonel Richardson, 79-75, in the 1A East Region I championship game March 5.

On Friday, March 8, in the 1A quarterfinals, defending state champion Edmondson of Baltimore City (21-2) eliminated Perryville, 88-49, after opening the game on a 13-0 run.

Perryville’s Andrew Clark led all scorers with 18 points.


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