Lake Clifton quiets Mervo, 91-70

January 05, 1995|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

A couple days before his team had to face Mervo in the Tip-Off Mixer last month, Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore said facing Woody Williams, one of his longtime mentors, was like facing "a mirror image."

And for the first 15 minutes of their initial meeting of the season, Williams and his Mustangs gave Moore reason for concern, before the Lakers gained control in the second period and cruised to a 90-51 victory.

Heading into yesterday's Baltimore City 4A League opener at Mervo, Moore again had reason to worry, because the Mustangs had upset then-No. 4 Southwestern last week in the finals of the Henderson Neal Tournament.

For much of the first half, the No. 17 Mustangs were right there with Lake Clifton.

But Mervo again blinked and the top-ranked Lakers gained command and never looked back, winning 91-70.

"Woody is a good coach and we worked together for a long time," said Moore, who was an assistant to Williams for six seasons. "He's tricky and he knows a lot of my little tricks and I know some of his tricks, so I was definitely concerned."

Moore has beaten Williams, who coached Lake Clifton from 1971 to 1986, in all five head-to-head meetings, including the 90-51 victory on Dec. 10 at Lake Clifton.

The latest game was settled by Shawnta "Nut" Rogers, who led all scorers with 28 points for Lake Clifton (7-0, 1-0) and had seven rebounds, five assists and nine steals.

Rogers, a 5-foot-4 senior point guard, scored all but four of his 28 in the opening half as Lake Clifton, ranked No. 13 by USA Today, had a 47-29 halftime advantage.

Ronald Byrd had 19 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers and Reggie Frazier scored 18. Kevin Harper led Mervo (5-4, 0-1) with 17 points and Duncan Anderson added 13.

The Mustangs were within 32-26 with 3:13 remaining in the first half, then Lake Clifton's pressure defense forced bad passes that turned into easy layups and three-point baskets.

The Lakers closed the half with a 15-3 run as Rogers scored seven, to take the 18-point halftime edge.

Lake Clifton scored the first eight of the second half, extending its lead to 57-29 with 5:31 remaining in the third quarter. The Lakers led by as many as 31 in the second half.

"They're a good team and we're coming along," said Williams, whose team went 1-19 last season. "We need a couple more players to contend with the great teams. We were fortunate against Southwestern, but against the Lake Cliftons, they come off of the bench with quality people and our kids got worn down."

The Mustangs were pumped early, especially after Harper had a one-hand slam and was fouled by Guy Butler. His free throw gave Mervo a 5-4 lead, but it would be the only advantage it would have.

The Lakers scored the next six points to take a 10-5 lead and had a 32-20 advantage with 4:25 left in the first, before the Mustangs closed to within 32-26.

"We just knew we wanted it," said Rogers, whose team will visit No. 3 Walbrook tomorrow at 5 p.m. "They thought they could beat us because they played us tough in the first half. But we were ready for them because of what happened at the mixer."

* Southern-B 78, Edmondson 41: Junior forward Dedric Galloway led host and No. 6 Southern with 18 points in its win over Edmondson (5-5).

Marlon Wise added 15 points for the Bulldogs (3-3).

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