Wildecats warm up for Vikings

February 25, 1994|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Special to The Sun

Wilde Lake's 63-62 victory over visiting Howard last night keeps the playoff-bound Wildecats atop the Howard County-league standings heading into tonight's showdown with 14th-ranked Mount Hebron.

Wilde Lake senior Seth Willingham led the Wildecats with 18 points -- 12 in the first half -- while Howard senior and leading scorer Javier Michaux (21.6) tallied 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Wilde Lake (11-9, 9-4), after having traded the lead with Howard a half-dozen times in the second half, trailed throughout the fourth quarter until senior Malik Jackson (10 points) sank a corner jumper, his second from the spot in the game's final five minutes, to give the Wildecats the advantage, 63-62, with 1:22 left in the game.

Wilde Lake's zone defense denied Howard (8-13, 5-8) a good shot at the other end and the Wildecats regained possession.

Willingham attempted to run out the clock, only to be whistled for a five-second violation with nine seconds left as Howard senior Brian Bush applied the defensive pressure.

Howard, a 59-56 winner over Wilde Lake earlier this season, worked a final play to 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Mike Green (10 points), whose jumper from the far corner slid off the back of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

"The kids played with a lot of confidence and poise tonight considering some of the calls weren't going our way and our two big guys were in foul trouble all night," Wilde Lake coach Paul Ellis said.

Howard, however, could not take advantage of the fact Wildecats senior center Sule Carpenter and his sophomore teammate, 6-6 forward Carl Jackson, each were saddled with three fouls at halftime and four apiece for much of the second half.

Jackson proved his low-post value in the third quarter. After Wilde Lake slipped behind Howard, 47-41, Jackson came off the bench to score a quick six points to pull the Wildcats within

49-47 before picking up his fourth foul with 1:36 left in the third quarter.

"Sule and Carl weren't getting the calls inside. If just one of them fouls out, it might have been a different game in the end," Ellis said.

The Wildecats duo anchored Ellis's zone defense and was often able to deny Howard's Michaux good looks at the basket. After hitting four free throws early in the fourth quarter, Michaux was kept scoreless for the remainder of the contest.

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