Lake Clifton fights back to overtake Walbrook

February 23, 1994|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

Up and down. Those words, at least, described Lake Clifton's regular season.

But coach Charlie Moore said there have been more ups for the No. 4 Lakers, the most recent being an 87-83 come-from-behind victory over host and No. 16 Walbrook, in a Baltimore City 4A League game.

Ronald Byrd scored 23 points to lead the Lakers (15-6, 8-4) and Shawnta Rogers added 22. Travone Broadway and Chris Reynolds each scored 22 to lead Walbrook (9-10, 6-5).

Byrd, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, was playing in his first game since being stabbed in the side with a pen during an incident in the school's cafeteria last Tuesday.

His return was felt the most when it counted yesterday: the fourth quarter. Byrd scored nine points in the final eight minutes to help rally the Lakers.

With 3:27 left in regulation, Lake Clifton trailed 73-68. After a jumper by Terrance Payne, Byrd made a steal at midcourt and went in for a layup, pulling the Lakers to 73-72.

Byrd followed that with a three-pointer from the right of the arc, then Jimmy Moore complemented that 15 seconds later with a three-pointer from the left corner, sprinting the Lakers ahead 78-73 with 2:18 remaining.

"I'm happy to help the team, especially since I had earn the opportunity to get back in after not starting," said Byrd.

His absence was among the downs for Lake Clifton during the regular season. The Lakers lost two of their first three home games by 15and 16 points to Southern of Baltimore and Southwestern, respectively.

Even though Lake Clifton had beaten Largo, last season's state 4A champion, and Potomac, a state 3A finalist of last season, at the Function at the Junction Mixer, it had little cohesiveness or motivation.

Then, during the Christmas holiday, the Lakers participated in the Slam Dunk at the Beach Tournament. They defeated Glasgow, the Delaware state champion, and runner-up St. Mark's.

Two weeks ago, the Lakers lost key role players Bernard Williams and Charles Owens, both academically ineligible. Lake Clifton then upset then-No. 1 Southwestern, helping pave the way to an appearance in next week's state 4A tournament for the second straight season.

In their season-opener, the Lakers had routed the Warriors, 102-80, at the Tip-Off at Lake Clifton. It was the first of four meetings between the two schools.

It was only fitting yesterday that the Lakers' regular-season finale would be against the Warriors. It was more fitting that the victory all but eliminated the Warriors from the postseason and a possible fifth meeting with Lake Clifton in the North regional playoffs.

"If you look at our road wins, we have had more ups and downs," said Moore, whose team won three of four from Walbrook. "We could be a little sharper going into the regionals, but it goes back to fundamentals and making that extra pass."

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