LARGO, Md. – The last time Prince George's Community College and Baltimore City Community College played a game the Owls scored the game-winning basket in the closing seconds to hoist the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MD JUCO) Men's Basketball Tournament trophy. It was a tough-fought battle again on Friday night with the go-ahead basket being scored in the final 89 seconds, but there was no trophy on the line. The Panthers took the game against the Owls 85-80 in MD JUCO men's basketball action.
Trailing by 11 points with seven minutes left in the contest, Prince George's (13-9, 4-6 MD JUCO) went on a 21-10 run over the next five minutes and 23 seconds to tie the game at 75 with 1:47 remaining. Sophomores Kennith Ford (Forestville, Md./National Collegiate Prep) and Mykal Johnson (Seat Pleasant, Md./Charles H. Flowers), two of the players from the Owls MD JUCO Tournament championship run, fueled the spurt with a combined 15 points while Johnson evened the game with his shot from behind the arc.
The Panthers answered on the ensuing possession to take the lead they would not relinquish 18 seconds later and extended its lead to 81-76 with 23 seconds remaining. Ford answered with a triple with 15 ticks on the clock to make it a two-point game. Baltimore City then missed the front end of the 1-and-1, but the Panthers pounced on the rebound and made the first of two free throws to take an 82-79 edge with nine seconds left.
Johnson was fouled on the inbounds play and made the first of two charity tosses with seven seconds left. The sophomore missed the second free throw and Baltimore City scored the final three points to seal the victory.
Johnson paced the Largo program with 24 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double in his last six tilts and sixth of the season. The sophomore shot 8-for-18 from the floor, 3 of 8 from behind the arc and 5 of 8 from the free throw line. The local product has posted double figures in 47 of his 52 games in Largo including 23 contests with at least 20 points and seven 20-point games in 2017-18. His 24-point performance on Friday pushes the sophomore career total to 909 with four regular season games and postseason left.
Ford added 19 points and 11 rebounds for his third career double-double. The sophomore, who has 17 games with at least 10 points this season, is averaging 19.3 points per game in his last four contests.
Shiloh Beale (Waldorf, Md./St. Charles) added a career high in both points (18) and rebounds (9) to narrowly miss his first collegiate double-double. Beale notched his fourth double-figure point game of his career, but first in front of the home crowd.
Prince George's seemed to always playing catchup in the game, but Panthers could not claw their way past the Owls until the waning minutes of the game.
Baltimore City jumped out to a 27-15 lead midway through the first half. Fueled by 10 points by Beale with some nice acrobatic shots that fell, the Owls went on an 11-2 run to make it a 29-26 margin with 6:45 left in the first half. Baltimore City closed the stanza by scoring 11 of the final 18 points to go into the locker room with a 40-33 lead.
Sparked by seven points by Johnson, the Largo program opened the second half on a 9-5 run to trim the margin to 45-42 with 16:42 left. The score remained tight until the Panthers scored six unanswered points to extend its lead to 57-49 midway through the final period. Prince George's then made its move with seven minutes left to tie the score at 75, but Baltimore closed the game by scoring 10 of the final 15 minutes to earn the win.
The Owls return to action on Sunday at the College of Southern Maryland. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m.