Wilde Lake aiming to slow Snow Hill

March 11, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

Wilde Lake must control the tempo if it hopes to beat Snow Hill of Worcester County in the state Class 1A boys basketball semifinals at 3 today in College Park.

Second-seeded Snow Hill (23-2) is an up-tempo, high-scoring team that features four players who average in double figures.

Third-seeded Wilde Lake (13-10) also must stop Snow Hill senior point guard Terrance Palmer, who averages 11.9 assists, 15.6 points and five rebounds and has a team-high 86 steals. He has 739 career assists.

"Palmer is excellent," Wilde Lake coach Paul Ellis said. "He's a penetrator and pushes the fast break."

Snow Hill averages 76.9 points and shoots 46 percent. The Eagles have scored 85 points or more 10 times.

Wilde Lake, which shoots 43 percent, needs to keep the score in the high 50s or low 60s. The Wildecats average 63 points and give up an average of 63 points.

Wilde Lake never has won when allowing its opponent more than 67 points and has scored 80 or more only twice. It has scored 70 or more only four times.

If the game is close at the end, neither team shoots well at the foul line. Both average 56 percent.

Morris (68 percent) and Palmer (66 percent) are Snow Hill's top free-throw shooters. Willingham leads Wilde Lake at 71 percent, with Carpenter next at 58. The other Wilde Lake starters shoot below 50 percent.

Willingham is the player Wilde Lake makes sure has the ball at the end of close games, and he has come through at the foul line in several recent close victories.

Both teams rebound well, but Snow Hill averages 44, compared to 38 for Wilde Lake.

Snow Hill has a big edge at guard with Palmer and 6-foot-5, 175-pound junior Chris Morris, who averages 10 points and four rebounds.

Wilde Lake will need guards Terance Butler (seven points, two rebounds, seven assists) and Charnier DeVillasee (four points, two rebounds, one assist) to play well.

Ellis has struggled to come up with a consistent fifth starter, and DeVillasee finally has stepped up.

Butler, the Wildecats' point guard, has the quickness to penetrate and has made his outside jump shots consistently in the past seven games. His ability to hit the jumper and penetrate are essential to opening up the inside game.

Wilde Lake has the edge at center with 6-7, 250-pound sophomore Carl Jackson averaging eight points and nine rebounds. He has blocked 60 shots, and his imposing presence forces many altered shots.

Snow Hill's center is 6-foot, 240-pound senior Eddie Collick, who averages seven points and six rebounds but is not a shot-blocker. He is one of four Eagles with 40 or more steals, however.

Wilde Lake has only two substantial steal threats. Seth Willinghamhas 72 and Butler has 46.

At forward the teams appear even. Wilde Lake has 6-3, 190-pound senior Willingham (18.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists) and 6-6 senior Sule Carpenter (10.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 35 blocked shots).

Snow Hill has 6-5, 205-pound senior Harold Victor (18 points, 9.5 rebounds, 40 steals) and 6-1, 185-pound senior Anthony Sterling (12.3 points, seven rebounds, 44 steals).

Willingham is dangerous from three-point range and DeVillasee also shoots from there. Snow Hill's Palmer, Morris and Collick have three-point range.

Victor shoots 58 percent -- highest on either team. Morris shoots 47 percent and Collick 45 percent. Carpenter shoots 55 percent for Wilde Lake. Jackson and DeVillasee shoot 45 percent.

Both teams have won one state title. Snow Hill won in its only previous appearance in 1989. Wilde Lake, making its fifth trip to College Park, won in 1985. Its most recent trip in 1991 resulted in a three-point semifinal loss to Edgewood.

Wilde Lake hopes that its stronger schedule will pay off.

Snow Hill played more than half its games against Class 1A opponents. Its two losses were to Class 2A schools Parkside and Cambridge-South Dorchester. It lost to Eastern Shore opponent Cambridge by 12 points in a playoff game to decide the Bayside Championship after the regular-season schedule.

James M. Bennett was Snow Hill's only 3A opponent and it played no Class 4A teams.

Wilde Lake played two 4A schools, eight games against 3A foes and eight games against 2A opponents. It played only five 1A foes.

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