Simpson, Banks lead City past Joppatowne, 69-58, in championship game

December 31, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Corey Simpson, a slender 5-foot-9 guard, and Dwight Banks, a solidly built 6-footer better known for his football exploits, fired up City midway through the game to lead the Knights to a 69-58 victory over the host school in the championship game of the Joppatowne tournament last night.

City fell behind 19-11 early in the second quarter, then got within 24-19 with two minutes left in the half.

Banks scored the last two baskets of the half, and he and Simpson did most of the damage in the third period, as the Knights ran off to a 49-34 cushion.

In the process, Simpson had five baskets and two foul shots, and Banks had two baskets. Four other scorers helped break open the contest.

It was just the opposite for Joppatowne, which had only two scorers in the eight-minute segment, largely the result of a tenacious pressure defense. Williams had eight, and Alonzo McDowell had two. The Mariners drew within nine points midway in the fourth quarter, but got no closer, as the margin remained near 10 the rest of the way.

"We had to get them out of their zone defense," City coach Wayne Cook said of a halftime change. "It was the first time we'd seen it this year, and we weren't used to it.

"Normally, we'll use a 3-2 press, but this time we went 1-2-2, putting pressure on the ball out of bounds. I told the players to make it work. Sometimes that's psychological, but it was the only way we were going to force them out of their zone, and then we could put the ball in Simpson's hands."

Simpson, one of four National Honor Society students in the starting lineup, finished with 23 points, 19 in the second half when he was 9-for-10 from the foul line.

"We're still stressing playing as a team, and we don't expect him to have to do it every time. It's just that we're still learning how to win."

With the same starting lineup as a year ago when City won three games, this was the team's fifth win in seven games. It was Joppatowne's first loss after five wins.

Joppatowne fell behind 9-4, then rallied for a first-quarter tie at nine on a three-point shot by Bernie Robinson and a basket by Lamar Williams. The Mariners scored the first eight points of the next period, before City's Andrew Wright made it 17-11 with 2:24 gone. Chris Gephardt made it 19-11, before City charged back.

In the consolation game, Dundalk (5-3) put away Havre de Grace, 76-58, padding a 10-point lead with a 27-point fourth quarter.

Havre de Grace (4-3), down by eight in the first period and by seven at halftime, drew within 34-31 three minutes into the third quarter, but got no closer.

Travis Thornton, a 6-foot senior, topped five double-figure scorers with 20 for Dundalk, and Artie White, a 5-10 junior, had 17 for Havre de Grace.

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