For the past two seasons, Perry Hall junior forwards La’Quill Hardnett and Anthony Higgs have spurred the Gators’ quick ascend to the top of the Baltimore basketball landscape. Last year, they led the school to a 21-win season and their first ever state semifinal appearance. Tuesday night, they accomplished another first.
Using their size and athleticism, Hardnett and Higgs helped Perry Hall overcome a slow start to win the Baltimore County title for the first time in school history, 70-57, over Milford Mill at Towson University’s SECU Arena.
Higgs scored 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds while Hardnett chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds. All five of Perry Hall’s starters scored in double figures, but it was the Gators defense in the second quarter that was the turning point in the game.
Leading 14-13 at the start of the second quarter, the Gators settled in and forced Milford Mill into contested or shots that were blocked. Perry Hall turned those miscues into points in transition. The Gators outscored the Millers 24-8 in the second quarter to take a 38-21 lead into the break.
“We just got out running, and I knew whoever was open we were going to get the ball in their hands,” Higgs said. “You just get a chill down your spine every time the ball goes through the net.”
Perry Hall improved to 21-2 with the win. The 21 wins ties the school mark set last year for most in school history.
Milford Mill, who won five consecutive county crowns from 2009-2013, falls to 15-6.
Despite the big win, Perry Hall coach George Panageotou says his team has one more first they want to accomplish: A state title.
“The guys remember last year’s loss in the state semi[finals],” the fifth-year head coach said. “They’re gonna be very focused and we’re gonna try to make a deep run and win a state championship.”