June 23, 2018
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  • Malik McKinney scored 19 points—including the game-winning basket with 10 seconds remaining—to help Indian Creek to a 60-58 win over Severn on January 23.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Malik McKinney scored 19 points—including the game-winning basket with 10 seconds remaining—to help Indian Creek to a 60-58 win over Severn on January 23.

Indian Creek Boys Top Severn In Thriller, Set Stage For MIAA B Playoffs

Colin Murphy
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February 6, 2018

The gym at Indian Creek may never have been as loud as it was on January 23 when the Eagles hosted Severn in a critical matchup in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference.

Students, staff and families packed the stands in Crownsville to see the Eagles top the Admirals, 60-58, in a wildly entertaining rivalry classic complete with a comeback, a fourth quarter of endless lead changes and a game-winning basket in the closing seconds.

Malik McKinney’s acrobatic fast-break layup with 10 seconds remaining was the decisive bucket in the victory, which kept the Eagles at the top of the MIAA standings with a perfect 14-0 overall record and a 9-0 conference record.

PHOTO GALLERY: Indian Creek vs. Severn boys basketball, 1.23.18

The Eagles (15-1 as of February 1) came from 10 points down in the first half and matched the Admirals (18-5) blow for blow in a back-and-forth fourth quarter that featured a total of 11 lead changes.

Severn had the ball with under 20 seconds to play and the game tied at 58-58, but a post-entry pass was defended by the Eagles’ Khalil Williams and Sammy Carter. The ball came loose, and Carter dived on the floor to save it from going out of bounds. His save came to teammate Jordan Lewis, who tipped it to point guard Khyion Washington. Washington scooped it up and passed ahead to a slashing McKinney, who converted the layup and was fouled to give Indian Creek its final lead of the night and set off a thunderous celebration amongst the Eagle fans:

McKinney finished with 19 points, 15 in the second half. Lewis finished with 13 points and Williams had nine, while Washington had eight, Carter five and Evan Rakshys four in the win.

Severn’s talented trio of AJ Burch (21 points), Jermaine Hall (12 points, 14 rebounds) and LJ Owens (14 points) were hampered in the second half by Indian Creek’s defensive schemes and a spark provided by Lewis’ shadow defense on Owens and Carter’s aggressive play off the bench.

“Coach laid out a good game plan, we had to stay on their two best players, LJ and Jermaine, and we just fought,” said Lewis. “All season we’ve been the underdogs, and no one thought we were going to do anything, and now we’re 14-0.”

Indian Creek coach Josh Pratt said the victory was representative of the closely contested rivalry between the two schools, who both have aspirations to win the MIAA B. “When it came down to it, it was who got the 50-50 balls, who valued possessions the most, and there was a little luck,” said Pratt. “We ended up making the key stop at the end. It’s a tribute to everybody. We were down one player, and it’s been like that all year, where someone goes down and somebody else has stepped up.”

The Eagles’ depth and their ability to find ways to win has shaped the whole season, in which Indian Creek reeled off 15 straight wins to start the year. One day prior to defeating Severn, McKinney scored 23 points and Williams posted a 16-point, 10-rebound night to help Indian Creek defeat St. John’s Catholic Prep 57-54, an outcome iced on a last-second steal by Washington.

The Eagles finally suffered a conference loss in a 55-51 defeat to Gerstell Academy on January 27, but they still lead the conference standings at 10-1 entering February.

The Admirals sit in third place at 7-3 behind Gerstell (9-1), and they were on the other end of a buzzer-beater when they defeated St. Paul’s on January 27. Burch’s fourth 3-pointer of the game against St. Paul’s came just before the final buzzer, lifted the Admirals to a 50-47 win and left a packed Friday-night gym full of Crusader fans in stunned silence as Severn celebrated a thrilling win:

 

With Indian Creek and Severn, Anne Arundel County has two of the top contenders for the MIAA B Conference title. Gerstell, St. Paul’s, Archbishop Curley and St. John’s Catholic Prep will surely have their say when the playoffs begin in late February.

McKinney, who helped the Eagles to a C Conference championship as a freshman in 2015 and hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to defeat Severn in triple overtime in 2016, said the rivalry with Severn has been fun over the years.

“LJ, Jermaine and AJ, we know each other from around and playing AAU, and we look forward to playing these games. It’s the battle of Anne Arundel County,” McKinney said. “They lost some, we’ve lost some, they beat us in the first round of the playoffs a couple years ago, and it’s great to go back and forth with those guys. They can play ball.”

He added that though the team is at the top of the conference with legitimate hopes to win it all, the Eagles are assuming nothing.

“Every game is a winnable game,” said McKinney. “We gotta come out and take nothing for granted, never take anything for granted. Play every game like it’s your last. We know we’re going to get every team’s best shot from here on out.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Indian Creek vs. Severn boys basketball, 1.23.18


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