Neither Team Shoots Straight, But Wildecats Nip Bears, 57-54

January 19, 1992|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff writer

Ugly. That's how both coaches described Friday night's boys basketball game between Wilde Lake and Hammond.

The Wildecats won it, 57-54, capturing their second league victory without a loss and sending the Bears to their second straight narrow defeat.

Even though Wilde Lake (4-4 overall, 2-0 league), the home team, shot only 36.5 percent (22-for-61) from the floor and made 20

turnovers, the Bears (2-8 overall, 0-2 league) played worse. Hammond shot37 percent (20-for-54) and made 31 turnovers.

The Bears made 14 of those turnovers in the fourth quarter, and 10 of them before they ever scored a basket in that period.

Hammond went from a 40-36 leadafter three quarters to a 47-40 deficit, and never cut the Wilde Lake lead to fewer than three points again.

Trailing 57-54, the Bearshad the ball with seven seconds left, but James Grant's pass was intercepted by Deon Wingfield.

"We wanted either Grant or Simeon Green to take a three-pointer, but Grant was double-teamed and Green couldn't get the ball," Bears coach Jack Burke said.

Hammond was the victim of a 35-foot three-point shot by Oakland Mills' Marc Terry on Wednesday -- a shot that tied the game at the buzzer. The Bears then lost in overtime.

So Hammond's failure to execute at the end Fridaywas magnified for the Bears.

"We're going to win one of these sooner or later," Burke said. "We've played two tough teams and lost to both of them in close games."

The Bears' coach thought two factorswere decisive. "Wilde Lake's defensive pressure was good and their rebounding on the offensive foul line killed us," Burke said. "They had seven rebounds off missed free throws."

Wingfield produced two of those rebounds and two baskets in thefinal two minutes. Both times the baskets increased Wilde Lake's lead to six points. The second onemade it, 56-50.

Grant hit a jumper and Wingfield sank a free throw to make it 57-52 with 26 seconds left.

With 19 seconds left, Green made a layup, cutting Wilde Lake's lead to 57-54. Green scored eight of Hammond's final 12 points.

Wilde Lake missed a one-and-one with nine seconds left, giving Hammond a final chance that it wasted.

Wilde Lake again relied heavily on its leading scorer, George Bradford, who had 25 points. Bradford was averaging 18.9 points before the game.

"Bradford is definitely our horse," Wilde Lake coach Paul Ellis said.

Bradford scored 17 points in the second half, including nine straight when Wilde Lake rallied from a 40-34 deficit to go ahead, 43-40.

Most of his points came off drives or layups from fastbreaks. Three times he drove, made the shot, was fouled and converted three-point plays.

"Every time they got him an outlet pass he was physically mis

matched against one of our smaller players," Burke said.

Wilde Lake made good use of its depth, playing 10 people and gradually wearing down Hammond.

"They definitely wore us down,"Burke said.

But the Wildecats played without starting point guardAndre Martin, who was out of town on a football recruiting trip.

His absence helped account for Wilde Lake's 20 turnovers.

Hammond guard Kris Jefferson scored 10 points in the first half, but he was shut out in the second half.

Andrew Tetteh led Hammond with 11 points, but didn't come to life until the third quarter when he made two spectacular blocks, scored six points and grabbed four rebounds.

Grant also played way below his previous effort, when he scored 32 points against Oakland Mills Wednesday. Grant, a good three-point shooter, got 10 points but never really got rolling.

Wingfield finished with nine points, and Darryl Bell got eight for Wilde Lake.

"It was ugly but we'll take it," Ellis said.

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