No. 3 Southern advanced to the final of the Baltimore City Public Schools Tournament with a 66-58 victory over No. 5 Walbrook in a semifinal game at Morgan State University's Hill Fieldhouse.
The Bulldogs (16-4) will face No. 1 Dunbar in the championship game tomorrow at 4:45 p.m. at Hill Fieldhouse. The Poets advanced with a 74-60 win over No. 4 Lake Clifton in the other semifinal.
Senior guard David Cason led Southern with a game-high 21 points and Kwame Evans added 14. Rodney Beasley and Stevie Thomas each scored 16 to lead the Warriors and Ronnie Thomas added 13 points and five rebounds.
Walbrook (11-7) was without three key players -- swingman Jermaine Porter, forward Shamar Bass and guard Eric Herbert -- suspended by Walbrook coach Gus Herrington Thursday for disciplinary problems in school.
"It was a decision that had to be made," said Herrington. "Myself and the school's administration felt it had to be done, and we had to live with it."
Even without those players, the Warriors stayed with Southern, which had easily defeated them, 60-37, in their first meeting, Jan. 19.
Walbrook held a 45-39 advantage after three quarters, but the Bulldogs went on 9-2 run to take a 48-47 lead with 5 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the game.
Trailing, 50-49, the Warriors went back in front on a three-point play by Thomas, before Southern regained the lead for good on a three-point jumper by Cason.
"We knew they were coming out to us," said Cason, who scored eight in the final period. "Coach Herrington always has a good squad and we knew they would be right there, even though we beat them the first time."
The Bulldogs raced to a 12-4 lead, but Walbrook rallied, outscoring Southern, 11-2, to lead, 15-14, after the first quarter. The Warriors held a 29-27 lead at halftime.
After Southern forged ahead, 37-34, with 3:18 left in the third quarter, Walbrook stormed back to take a 45-39 lead as Beasley scored eight during another 11-2 quarter-closing run.
"We just played our game," said Herrington. "We should have been playing like this all year, but we haven't been communicating. The kids who did played did a heck of a job and they were able hang in there."