Lake Clifton's Ronald Van Hook and Cornell Ward haven't seen much playing time most of this season, but yesterday they provided the spark for the No. 3 Lakers as they defeated host and No. 12 Loyola, 71-55, in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference Division II game.
Van Hook, starting for the first time this season, was the offensive catalyst, scoring a game-high 22 points. Ward, a 6-foot-6 freshman, came off the bench and dominated on the defensive end, blocking eight shots in the second half.
Anthony Lang added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers (7-2, 3-1). Curtis Shepherd scored 10 points and had 15 assists, and Kevin Norris also scored 10.
Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore inserted Van Hook, a starter for most of last season, into the starting lineup to provide quickness against Loyola (9-7, 1-4) out of a three-guard set. Ward entered the game in the second quarter to give the Lakers added height inside.
"I changed the lineup to get some quickness in," said Moore. "The freshman, Cornell Ward, came off the bench, and played very well. Van Hook got into the game and was looking for his shot."
Van Hook scored Lake Clifton's first five points, but picked up two fouls within the first two minutes. The 6-foot senior scored 12 in the first half, as the Lakers led, 37-30, at halftime.
"In a way, I'm glad Coach [Moore] gave me the opportunity to start," said Van Hook, who recently returned after personal problems kept him off the team. "I feel that if I start, I can play much better, but if I come off the bench, it takes me awhile to get into the game."