When asked if he was surprised his team is the top team in Anne Arundel County after an nondescript start in December, Broadneck High boys basketball coach John Williams paused for a couple of seconds Wednesday evening.
“Definite maybe,” he said with a wry smile.
The Bruins definitely are the best team in Anne Arundel after an impressive 58-42 victory over 14th-ranked Meade in Cape St. Claire. Junior guard Jordan Brown scored 28 points for Broadneck, and Jalen Carter added 14.
The Bruins (16-4 overall, 13-1 Anne Arundel) led by as many as 22 points Wednesday, extending their winning streak to 13 and claimed first-place in the league standings. The effort also assures Broadneck a spot in next weekend’s Anne Arundel County championship game.
The Bruins were 2-4 after a 16-point loss to then-undefeated Long Reach at the Bogle Invitational at Glen Burnie. Broadneck, which defeated Atholton the following day at the holiday mixer, is one of three teams (undefeated No. 3 Parkville and No. 4 City) yet to lose in the new year.
The Bruins’ new year’s resolution: Defense.
“Our goal has been in the new year was to just imit dribble drive penetration, have teams beat us from the outside and take care of the offensive glass,” said Williams, a tough-as-nails star guard for the Bruins in the late 1980s, who’s in his second tour of duty as coach. “Guys are trusting each other.”
“Defense is our main focus,” said Broadneck senior post Michael Schwob. “Playing team defense is the main thing…it’s good to see it translate to the games.”
Schwob (two blocks, two steals) was part of a tenacious effort under the basket Wednesday as the Bruins didn’t allow Meade second-chances at the basket. Senior Kyle Miles finished with seven rebounds.
Brown was the catalyst for Broadneck’s offense. The wiry 6-foot-3 underclassmen had a hand in 13 points in a 20-4 third quarter, turning a 27-26 deficit into a commanding 46-31 advantage.
“Third quarters weren’t our greatest thing,” said Brown. “The first two minutes we knew we had to jump on them.”
Miles opened the second half with a basket, giving Broadneck the lead for good. Brown, with Meade’s 6-foot-5 Shaun Jones coming at him, dropped a straight-on 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
Carter, off a feed from Brown, drained another 3-pointer, extending the lead to 36-29. After hitting a jumper from the foul line, Brown hit the sixth of eight 3-pointers on the evening for the Bruins, taking the advantage to 41-29 with 2:37 left in the third.
It was 49-31 after Brown opened the fourth with his fifth trifecta of the match. Carter, off another helper from Brown, dropped the Bruins’ final dagger, giving them a comfortable 55-33 lead midway through the fourth.
Brown, who added five assists and two steals, said he’s not surprised about the Bruins’ surge atop Anne Arundel County.
“It was a rough start at first, but we’ve bounced back,” said Brown, whose team played City, one of Baltimore City’s best, in addition to Howard County co-leader Long Reach, and reigning MIAA B Conference champ and 12th-ranked St. Mary’s, in non-league. “We’ve worked hard everyday and got it done today.”
Kyree Scott led Meade (18-2, 15-1 Anne Arundel) with 13 points and Jones finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Mustangs got off to an early 10-2 lead, hitting two 3-pointers against Broadneck’s zone.
The shots stopped falling and Meade, which won its previous 33 decisions in Anne Arundel regular season play, was unable to get into transition with Broadneck’s effort on the boards and getting back defensively.
The Mustangs didn’t convert their first field goal of the second half until two minutes left in the third. It was the reigning Anne Arundel regular season champ Meade’s first regular season league loss since Feb. 20, 2020 (64-61 decision at North County).
“Broadneck played the best game they’ve played all season. All the credit goes to them,” said Meade coach Mike Glick, whose team’s 13-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday. “We went very cold in the third quarter and they shot the ball very well. It was a humbling game, but it’s not like we have to go back to the drawing board…it’s high school basketball, you’re going to lose games in tough environments.”
The Mustangs, who reached the Class 4A state semifinals last season, will see Broadneck Feb. 18 in the league championship game at Arundel. Meade completes its regular season at South River (Friday) and Chesapeake-Anne Arundel (Feb. 15).
Broadneck controls its destiny for the Anne Arundel regular season crown, playing at Southern Friday and hosting Glen Burnie Wednesday.
“We’re keeping it simple and cliche, trying to get better each day,” said Williams. “I looked at it (schedule) a couple of weeks ago and knew we had challenging games. I wouldn’t trade that for anything because it’s going to get us ready for the playoffs.”
BROADNECK 58, NO. 14 MEADE 42
Meade - Scott 13, S. Jones 10, Graham 6, Teague 6, Robertson 4, Z. Jones 3. Totals 15 7-18 42.
Broadneck - Brown 28, Carter 14, Jefferies 6, Schwob 6, Miles 4. Totals 20 11-13 58.
Meade 12 15 4 11 - 42
Broadneck 19 7 20 12 - 58