Southern ousts Sabers, aims for another state title

March 06, 1994|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

When Southern-Baltimore was upset by Southwestern on Feb. 1, the Bulldogs' national championship hopes ended.

Since then, the top-ranked Bulldogs have focused on winning a second consecutive state title.

However, standing in the way of a return trip to Cole Field House was No. 7 Southwestern, which also wanted the state 4A North Region title.

Last night, Southern eliminated the Sabers from the competition, defeating them, 67-54, at UMBC's Field House.

Senior forward Dante Williams scored 23 points to lead Southern (21-1), the top seed. Kevin Simpson added 10 points and 15 rebounds. Ernie Evans led third-seeded Southwestern (18-5) with points and Donnie Joy added 11.

Southern, ranked No. 4 by USA Today, will play an opponent to be determined Thursday at Cole Field House. Last season, Southern won the Class 3A title.

The victory was the 10th straight for Southern, which has won 35 of its past 36, dating to the middle of last season.

The Bulldogs entered the first encounter with Southwestern, ranked No. 2 in the nation after defeating Rice of New York and Simon Gratz of Philadelphia at the First National Bank Charm City Classic. Southwestern won, 72-71, on Aaron Jolly's 23-footer at the buzzer.

Though Southern won the rematch at home, 83-74, on Feb. 16, some of the Bulldogs wanted a resounding victory. Last night's was no rout, but Southern was effective enough.

The Bulldogs led by as many as 16 points in the second half and did a good job handling Southwestern's press.

The closest the Sabers got in the second half was 55-47 with 2:01 left. After a jumper by Evans had Southwestern to within 57-49, the Bulldogs scored the next seven, getting two free throws by Marlon Wise, a basket and two free throws from Williams and a free throw from Simpson for a 64-49 cushion.

"We played like we were satisfied in getting there," said Southwestern coach Terry Leverett. "Southern is used to these situations and they came in ready to play."

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