Harrison's late basket boosts Edgewood, 43-41

January 27, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Roderick Harrison, the 14th player on a 14-man squad at the beginning of the season, showed just how far he has come in six weeks when he made a 17-foot jump shot with three seconds left to lift Edgewood past visiting C. Milton Wright, 43-41, in a Harford County League game last night.

The Rams (6-3, 2-0) held only three leads -- 4-0 in the first minute, briefly in the middle of the second quarter, and, finally, the only one that counted. In between Wright (5-3, 3-2) built leads up to nine twice, at the start and near the end of the third quarter.

Down 33-26 with eight minutes left, Edgewood slowly climbed into contention. Senior Alfred McAllister, who averages 14.6 points, had only four through 24 minutes, then came alive in the final segment with eight, including two driving layups inside of the closing two minutes that brought the Rams even at 39.

Then it was time for two substitutes to move front and center. First, junior guard Chris Finlay hit a driving 8-foot shot off a steal for his only basket and a tie at 41 with 32 seconds to go.

Wright was working in its offensive end when an errant pass went to a defender, and after a deflected pass went out of bounds, the Rams inbounded the ball and Harrison launched his game-winning shot, his second basket of the game.

The Mustangs' Chad Bowman bounced a 30-foot shot off the rim at the buzzer.

Each team was coming off a Tuesday night victory, and Edgewood coach Bob Slagle was quick to point out, "The first time back after a layoff [prior to Tuesday, neither team had played in two weeks] there is adrenalin and the excitement of getting to play again.

"The second night, the kids find out how much they missed not practicing, and their legs get tired."

Harrison, a 6-foot-3 senior, had missed two seasons, and Slagle called it "a combination of immaturity and academics."

"He has worked hard to get back into playing shape," Slagle said. "He didn't quit and has made himself a good student and a good athlete. His maturity now shows in the classroom and on the court.

"Finlay has come off the bench to do some nice things and here he got a key steal and a basket. We don't know who's going to do it on any given night, but somebody gets the job done."

It was a frustrated Wright team at the finish, because for much of the night it deserved to win. Still, there were opportunities to put Edgewood away, but the visitors could not get some shots to drop down the stretch.

As the Mustangs cooled off, Edgewood finally got its shots down with six last-quarter field goals and 17 points. This was a far cry from the middle two periods, when the Rams shot 1-for-15 and 1-for-9.

"It turned into a physical game and that made it a defensive game," Wright coach George Constantine said.

Chris Rueckert, just cleared by the doctor after being out with a hairline ankle fracture, came off the bench to give Wright a lift, finishing with a team-high 12 points. John Bowman, the county's second-leading scorer at 20.5, was held to seven points, all in the first half.

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