Lake Clifton surges past Walbrook, 70-59

January 30, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

Lake Clifton was badly in need of a wake-up yesterday at Loyola College's Reitz Arena and, as usual, Shawnta Rogers delivered the call.

The No. 5 Lakers were reeling from a heartbreaking loss to St. John's Prospect Hall in the semifinals of the Charm City Classic, and they played like it for the better part of a half.

But once Rogers hit the accelerator in the third period, Lake Clifton pulled away to a 70-59 victory over cross-town rival No. 11 Walbrook in the Northwest bracket's consolation game.

"We were just relaxing too much, playing a little tentative," said Rogers, a 5-foot-5 dynamo who finished with a game-high 22 points, six steals, five assists and five rebounds.

"What it was was too much confidence. They [Walbrook] came '' out playing, and we just took too much for granted. We had to stay focused and keep playing despite what happened the day before. That was gone."

Said Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore: "No question he's our spark plug. We started flat and had to pick it up. Shawnta's the kid to do it."

Lake Clifton (9-4) already had beaten the Warriors comfortably this season and has not lost to them in several years. The teams play again Wednesday and could meet as many as five times this season.

"I told them Walbrook wasn't just going to give us the game," Moore said. "Just because we had Lake Clifton on our jerseys didn't mean we didn't have to go out and play."

Walbrook (4-6) capitalized on five turnovers in the first two minutes to seize the lead, then roared in front by as many as 14 (27-13) early in the second period.

But then the Warriors ran into turnover problems, and Lake Clifton was back into the game, trailing, 35-32, by halftime.

Then Rogers really got the Lakers rolling. Within a two-minute span, he converted two free throws, made two three-pointers and set up two other baskets with steals during a 12-2 run that gave Lake Clifton a 49-42 lead.

Walbrook fought back to within three, but began to surrender control of the rebounding and soon was down, 63-51, with 3:11 to play.

"We did what we thought we had to do to win," said Warriors coach Gus Herrington.

"We just to have to accept the fact that we're young this year and do the best we can. But I'm pleased."

Herrington preferred to stay optimistic after four of his starters scored in double-digits and his team out-rebounded Lake Clifton, 36-34.

;/ "Maybe Wednesday will be our day," he said.

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