Success of surprising Southwestern no fluke, says rookie coach Leverette

HIGH SCHOOLS

December 17, 1991|By SAM DAVIS

Southwestern's three narrow victories over ranked teams have been the talk of this young 1991-92 boys basketball season and, although some may consider those games upsets, Southwestern first-year coach Terry Leverette says he isn't all that surprised.

"If those teams had beaten us, then it would have been an upset," he said. "I'm not trying to be facetious, but I have seen those teams play, and I think we could beat those kinds of teams."

The Sabres (3-0) became the first team other than host Cardinal Gibbons to win the Babe Ruth Classic, defeating the then-No. 4 Crusaders in overtime, 73-64, in the semifinals and then No. 11 Carver, 62-60, for the championship. Friday the Sabres edged then No. 9 Edmondson, 70-69.

"We've been doing it on hard work," said Leverette, whose team moved into the top 20 this week at No. 9. "They want it. They're a small team, but they play with big hearts."

With an uptempo approach, Southwestern has gotten timely contributions from guards Haywood Eaddy and Deon Crawford. Crawford was voted MVP of the Babe Ruth Classic.

Joseph Simms, Devo Weems, Iran Jones, Donnie Joy Wilbert Smith also have been key contributors. Most of them played together during the summer in the Craig Cromwell League where Southwestern finished .500 and beat Edmondson in its finale.

Also during the summer, Crawford's brother Antoine, a member of last year's squad, was killed in an automobile accident. The team has dedicated the season to his memory.

Although Leverette is excited about the fast start, he is keeping it in perspective because soon the Sabres will be involved in league play in the tough Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference.

"I think we're a .500 team and maybe we can get lucky and upset a couple more teams," he said.

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If No. 3 Walbrook looked impressive this weekend in the Function the Junction Mixer, imagine what the Warriors will be like when Eric Carroll joins the team later this month.

Carroll, a 6-foot-2 junior guard was an All-Metro second-team pick at St. Frances last season. He is academically ineligible for the first few weeks of the season but will be back for the Warriors' trip to the Fort Eustis (Va.) Tournament on Dec. 27-30.

The Warriors routed St. Frances, 93-67, Friday and played Simon Gratz, the No. 3 team in the country, tough on Saturday before bowing, 66-58. Walbrook could have used Carroll and his offensive innovation against Gratz.

With a threesome of Sean Evans, Antwan Wingo (he had 31 against St. Frances) and Carroll, the Warriors could have the best three-guard tandem this side of Dunbar's Michael Lloyd, Diego Jones and Paul Banks.

The Warriors will get another shot at Gratz when they meet in a preliminary game on the second day of the Charm City Classic on Jan. 18.

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Tickets for the Jan. 17-18 Charm City Classic at the Towson Center are on sale at all TicketCenter locations, or by calling 830-2244.

St. Frances and Towson Catholic meet at 5 p.m. the first day, followed by Dunbar vs. St. Raymond's (N.Y.) at 7 p.m. and Southern vs. St. Anthony's (N.J.) at 9 p.m.

On Jan. 18, it's Gratz vs. Walbrook at 5 p.m., Southern vs. St. Raymond's at 7 p.m. and St. Anthony's vs. Dunbar at 9 p.m.

St. Anthony's, led by Kentucky signee Rodrick Rhodes, was the only team to beat Dunbar in its 27-1 campaign last season, although the Poets did avenge that loss.

*

Southern basketball standout Kwame Evans, the area's top recruit after Dunbar's Lloyd and Donta Bright, has narrowed the list of schools he is considering.

The 6-6 swingman, who has scored the minimum 700 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, plans to visit Providence, Seton Hall, St. Joseph's and Penn State. Locals Towson State and UMBC also remain on his list.

Stevie Thomas, a first-team All-Metro selection last season from Walbrook who attends New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire, has gotten the minimum 700 on the SAT and remains committed to Towson State. Thomas is a 6-7 forward.

Last season, Lake Clifton's boys basketball team traveled to Sacramento, Calif., for the Sacramento Exchange Tournament, a one-week exchange of basketball and culture.

This week, the Lakers will return the favor, entertaining two teams from California -- Galt and Hiram Johnson.

Today at Lake Clifton, Patterson will take on Galt at 5 p.m. and Lake Clifton will meet Hiram Johnson at 7 p.m.

Thursday at Lake Clifton, the Lakers will meet Galt at 3:30, and Walbrook will take on Hirman Johnson at 5 p.m.

Between games, Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore has helped organize a schedule that will take both teams on tours of $H Baltimore and Washington.

"We want to return the favor," said Moore. "They treated us very well when we were there. We not only enjoyed good, competitive basketball, but the tours and special attractions were a real treat. We want to duplicate that."

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