No. 1 Southern weathers layoff, ices Lake Clifton

January 26, 1994|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

Playing for the first time since Jan. 13, No. 1 Southern-Baltimore yesterday expected to have a few kinks after a weather-related layoff.

But the Bulldogs -- who had beaten Lake Clifton by 15 points in December -- stepped up and defeated the visiting and No. 5 Lakers, 75-69, in a Baltimore City 4A League game.

Senior shooting guard Kevin Simpson scored a game-high 25 points for the Bulldogs (9-0, 3-0). Damon Cason added 21 and Dante Williams had 12 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. Junior guards Ronald Byrd and Shawnta Rogers each scored 15 to lead Lake Clifton (8-3, 3-2).

Southern, ranked No. 4 in this week's USA Today Super 25, extended the state's longest winning streak to 23 games. Friday, the Bulldogs will face Philadelphia's Simon Gratz, ranked No. 6 nationally, at the Charm City Classic at Loyola College.

"Everybody thought we would come in here and blow them out, but it was a different story today," said Simpson, who had five rebounds and three assists. "We practiced hard yesterday, but we didn't overextend ourselves because we didn't want to be sore going into the game."

Instead, Simpson proved to be a thorn in the Lakers' side, scoring 13 of his 25 points in the third quarter, helping Southern to a 57-47 lead heading into the final quarter.

With the Bulldogs clinging to a 45-43 lead, Simpson nailed a three-pointer from the right side. Next, came a jumper in the lane by Williams.

After a layup by Jimmy Moore pulled Lake Clifton to within 50-45, Simpson hit another three-pointer, his third of the game, this time from the left corner, pushing Southern's lead to 53-45 with 1:28 left in the quarter.

The three-point shot, usually a Lakers strength, was a sore point yesterday. The Lakers converted 1 of 13 attempts, and hit their only three-pointer with 3:30 left.

"The layoff really hurt both teams," said Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore. "I don't think they played their best and I don't think we played our best. We hustled and did some positive things."

Southern coach Meredith Smith agreed with Moore's assessment. "Both teams were a little flat and that is probably attributed to the layoff. However, I'm extremely pleased with the win because Lake Clifton was going to come in here and play tough."

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