'Sloppy' Lake Clifton turns back Patterson

March 04, 1994|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

Lake Clifton coach James Monroe feels if his "A" team shows up, it can play with anybody.

In a state 4A North Region semifinal game with visiting Patterson yesterday, the "C" team was in attendance, producing a 45-33 victory, but some worries for Monroe.

"We played pretty sloppy," said Monroe. "The first time we played them, we won by two, the second time by 40. Sometimes when you blow a team out, you don't take that team seriously and that's a problem we had. We didn't practice yesterday, but I'm still very disappointed in our performance, especially at home."

Teakwa Gardner led the Lakers (17-2) with 14 points and Lashina Gross added 13. Jackie Wilkes led Patterson (13-11) with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Tonight at 7, the No. 5 Lakers, the second seed, visit top seed and No. 2 Western for the region championship and a spot in the next week's Class 4A final four at UMBC.

Lake Clifton's two losses have been to Western. On Jan. 31, Chanel Wright of Western was an one-person wrecking crew, scoring 32 of her career-high 38 points in the first half of a 81-61 victory.

Last Tuesday, the Doves edged the Lakers, 60-59, for the City-Wide 4A League title and the top seed in the North Region. Lake Clifton trailed by one with 3.3 seconds remaining when Debbie Hyman didn't convert the front end of an one-and-one. Trevetta Simpson grabbed the rebound for the Lakers, but her follow shot was unsuccessful and Western's Kimberly Smith grabbed the rebound as time expired.

The loss was, in some ways, gratifying because the Lakers were without 6-foot-5 junior center Natisha Ferguson, out for the season after having a benign brain tumor removed Feb. 14. Lake Clifton played its best game of the season and did a good job on the boards.

Which is why Monroe was worried after yesterday's performance. The Lakers' lackadaisical play and having to come back tonight for the third and final meeting with Western are reasons for concern.

Up by as many as 18 points, the Lakers' lead was down to 40-30 with 3:33 remaining in regulation after a layup by Nicky Jones completed a 9-1 run. The Lakers went more than five minutes without scoring and eight minutes without a field goal.

"This is not the type of offense we run," said Monroe. "This is not my type of team. Their minds weren't in the game and that really hurts you."

Lake Clifton didn't score its first points until there was 4:07 remaining in the first quarter, but ran off seven straight.

The Lakers led 17-12 in the second quarter, then went on a 10-2 run to take a 27-14 halftime lead.

After Patterson scored the opening basket of the second half, the Lakers began showing a little sign of life, outscoring the Clippers 12-5, getting six points from Gross.

"When we got penetration at the basket, we didn't attack the ball," said Gross, who had four assists. "We weren't into the game today. It was a bad game for everybody."

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