No. 6 Southern handles Mervo BOYS BASKETBALL

January 07, 1995|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

The rough week of the 17th-ranked Mervo Mustangs didn't improve any yesterday.

After being the victim of No. 1 Lake Clifton two days earlier,

Mervo visited sixth-ranked Southern for another Baltimore City 4A League game, and its fortunes regressed.

The Bulldogs never trailed and romped to a 77-40 victory.

"I thought we played a lot better against Lake Clifton that we did against Southern," said Mustangs coach Woody Williams. "I don't know whether we were intimidated by the name or what."

Mervo (5-5, 0-2) was guilty of 25 turnovers -- many of them unforced -- shot poorly from the field and never contended against a team that has won two straight state titles, one at the 3A level, one at 4A.

"We couldn't handle the ball, passing it to the other shirts," said Williams. "Man to man, Southern is more talented than us, but we made mistakes that had nothing to do with ability."

Southern (4-3, 3-0) had beaten Mervo, 53-29, in the Lake Clifton Mixer in the first game of the season.

A three-pointer by Marlin Wise gave Southern a 5-2 lead, and the Bulldogs scored the next six points to soar in front by nine while Mervo was missing its first six shots from the field.

It was more than halfway into the first period when Curtis Pope hit a short jumper on the baseline for the first Mustangs field


The margin grew steadily as the Mustangs couldn't take care of the ball and Southern's superior skills took their toll.

Bulldogs coach Meredith Smith substituted liberally after his team scored 17 of the second half's first 19 points and zoomed ahead 50-18. The biggest margin came with a minute to go, 72-31.

"I don't know what to say," said Smith. "Mervo is a little young; they need more experience. We played almost everybody."

Junior John Hemsley, a 6-foot-6 center, topped the Bulldogs with 18 points, and point man Wise, another junior, added 16 before retiring to the bench in the third quarter.

Anderson Powell scored all 10 of his points in the second half to lead the Mustangs.

"In our first game [against Mervo], we went to the reserves a little longer," said Smith. "Today we played a starter or two later. We did find out a little about the backups."

Mervo was 1-19 last season, so it has already made progress this year. But Williams was wondering after yesterday.

"That was not one of our better efforts," he said. "We executed some against Lake, but today we went backwards. It's kind of hard to get consistent with the quality of teams we have to face game in and game out."

Southern meets Edmondson in its first league game next week, then plays host to Lake Clifton on Friday in the first showdown of 4A powers.

That one doesn't figure to be as easy for either team.

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