Walbrook boys, girls shoot for upsets

February 26, 1993|By Derek Toney and Kevin Eck | Derek Toney and Kevin Eck,Contributing Writers

On the wall that faces the entrance to Walbrook High's gymnasium, there's a painting of a warrior's head with the saying: "It's hard to beat a Warrior; it's harder to be a Warrior."

It has gotten a little easier since they got their home court back. Since returning to their home in December 1991 after a three-year absence, the No. 3 Warriors have fared well. They reached the finals of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference basketball tournament in the Metro Classic last March, and tomorrow they will face No. 2 Lake Clifton in the title game of the MSA Gamper Conference at Dunbar.

"There was a lot of pressure a few years with the traveling and it had an effect," said Walbrook coach Gus Herrington. "Being back here, we are relaxed. This has been the most relaxed season I've had. I can't tell how good it feels to be home."

Herrington often talks about the new enthusiasm at the school since it was reopened at the beginning of last year's school term. The school had been closed to remove asbestos.

While it was closed, the students traveled to Southwestern for classes and the team practiced and played its home games at the Community College of Baltimore (now Baltimore City Community College).

The excitement has been evident on the court, where Walbrook has gone 32-12 over the past two seasons, including 18 victories this season -- the most since 1985-86, when the Warriors went 20-4 in Herrington's first season.

No stars and no attitudes. That formula has produced a successful mix for the Warriors. Their leading scorer, Troy Parker (15.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) comes off the bench. Center Andre Rafus (13.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg.) has been a consistent presence in the

paint. Sophomore swingman Travone Broadway (12.8 ppg) is improving with each game. Herrington uses up to 11 players and is quick to sit a player down if he makes a mistake.

Their worst performance of the season came on their court in December, when Lake Clifton routed the Warriors, 103-87, in the final game of the Function at the Junction Mixer. Walbrook got caught up in a running game with Lakers and turned the ball over 22 times.

"We have grown a lot since that game and are playing together as a team," said Herrington. "Nobody thinks we have a chance, but we are going to be there to play and do whatever it takes to win."

Before the Gamper Conference championship game, top-ranked Western (21-0) will meet No. 12 Walbrook (15-3) for the City-Wide girls championship at 5 p.m.

Walbrook will attempt to avenge an embarrassing 80-32 loss to the Doves in the Charm City/Big Apple Challenge during the first week of the season.

Western, on the other hand, will try to avenge its upset loss to the Warriors in last season's championship game.

"Walbrook wasn't in shape in December, but they are now," said Western coach Breezy Bishop, who said she is using the memory of last season's loss to Walbrook as a motivational tool. "I'm sure they will try to prove something to my squad. I wouldn't be surprised if Walbrook spanked us."

The Doves are led by the sophomore tandem of guard/forward Chanel Wright (18.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.8 apg) and point guard Kimberly Smith (14.9 ppg, 6.5 apg).

Walbrook has five players scoring in double figures: Tina Fauntleroy (18.2), Lakeisha Dukes (17.1), Jamee Greenwood (14.3), Nakia Downing (12.5) and DeShawn Coleman (11.5).

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