South River boys basketball proves itself in 63-54 win over Meade

Posted by Michael Glick on Feb 18 2023 at 06:19PM PST

By Katherine Fominykh Capital Gazette Feb 10, 2023 at 11:50 pm

South River boys basketball waited for this night all winter. All five regular starters took the floor together in dramatic darkness, lit only by the glow of the scoring table and the smiles on their faces.

All year, the Seahawks knew once they got Jeremy Berger and James Crimaudo completely healthy — and at the same time — they could really show the county just how unstoppable they could be.

Meade, unfortunately, happened to be the team that met them Friday. After navigating the rapids of back-and-forth runs, high-speed chaos and rocky foul trouble, it was the Seahawks celebrating a 63-54 victory on their regular-season home finale. It was South River proving to the county that it truly is one of the best.

“We have a lot of confidence in who we are and what we’re capable of,” South River coach Darren Hall said. “Sometimes, we’ve been our worst enemies in some ways with things we can control. A lot of times, there’s the injuries and the foul trouble. But to see those guys come together tonight, for them to go out in a game like this, beating a team like Meade, I was real proud of our guys.”

Hall credited the boisterous bunch of South River fans for boosting the Seahawks in moments that frustration threatened to swallow them up. But it wasn’t just the typical fan base the South River boys played for Friday.

Before the game, members of the original South River boys basketball team came to speak with the current crew. The Seahawks carried the burden of going for the first true championship for the program all season long. But to stare into the faces of the very first members of the program really brought the mission home: to put the Seahawks on the map.

“Our program is about love,” senior Trashaun Timmons said. “We’re trying to show the underclassmen, the middle schoolers, that being together is what’s going to take to take us to the next level. You come in, you work, you do whatever it takes to win: you still have each other at the end of the day.”

It’d been a struggle for South River to maintain that vision. Losing two straight to Glen Burnie and Southern ended their winning streak, and a loss to Broadneck knocked the Seahawks out of the county championship race.

“We’re going to come across some bumps, lose to some teams we shouldn’t lose to,” said Crimaudo, who scored 23 points. “but at the end of the day, it’s great to come out and get a team win.”

Both Meade and South River recalled their last meeting fiercely: a double-overtime marathon at the Capitol Hoops Challenge in DeMatha Catholic’s gym. Fouls sent three starters off the floor and the result came down to the wire.

They mirrored each other so perfectly that it was as if they picked up right where they left off.

Nobody could hit a shot without surrendering one, couldn’t implement a zone without struggling against one, couldn’t make a two-basket run without giving up another. It was no wonder the teams went to the second quarter locked at 17, then to halftime tied at 35.

Shortly into the third quarter, three Seahawks starters and three more Mustangs had three fouls. In that minefield, Meade labored to fire off a single set of points until four minutes had already ticked by. South River, though trudging through a thicket themselves, found a freer path to the basket.

The Seahawks understood how to navigate a missing starter or two all winter, after all. Because of that, players like Devin Harper and Miles Evans were primed to respond to key situations.

“Everybody that doesn’t play as much as they should, they still help our team so much,” Timmons said, “and they don’t even know how thankful we are.”

The Mustangs trailed by five when Scott found his shot, but his basket seemed to trigger the back-and-forth scoring again. South River preserved a 49-43 margin after three.

But the Mustangs were not yet spent. Shawn Jones (20 points) and Eric Brown brought them back to the line, Jaisean Kenner forced turnovers and Xavion Roberson (16 points) scored in transition.

“Meade has so many weapons and they throw so much at you it’s like a nonstop trying to figure out personnel,” Hall said.

Matters soured for South River immeasurably when Berger fouled out. Within moments, Jones flicked in the free throw to make it a one possession game at 54-52.

Timmons felt the walls closing in and pushed them back. The senior scored five straight points before Crimaudo ran in another jumper. Herndon and Burrows locked Meade’s shooters down. When time expired, emotion shot through Timmons. No one person had won this. Everyone matched what they’d stressed in practice: boxing out, rebounding, pushing, sprinting.

A team win, he said, in the realest sense.

“With everybody back, now we can really focus on that next play. Everybody is all locked in, everybody is together, everybody knows their assignment,” Timmons said. “We click.”


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