Lake Clifton meets challenge again, edges No. 6 Southern BOYS BASKETBALL

January 14, 1995|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

Experience was the difference last season when Southern of Baltimore defeated Lake Clifton in four meetings. In the teams' first meeting of the season yesterday at Southern, the Lakers had the edge in experience.

Though the No. 6 Bulldogs provided another challenge to Lake Clifton's No. 1 ranking, their inexperience was telling, and the Lakers escaped with a 79-77 victory in a Baltimore City 4A League contest.

Jimmy Moore's basket with six seconds left was the difference for the Lakers (10-0, 4-0) as they completed a five-game stretch against teams that are or were ranked in The Baltimore Sun's Top 20.

Southern (5-4, 3-1) immediately inbounded the ball, though Bulldogs coach Meredith Smith was trying to alert his team to call a timeout. Freshman Cornelius McMurray, who had three three-pointers in the game, fired an attempt from at least 30 feet that fell short, and the ball went out of bounds with .5 of a second left.

"We were trying to get anybody to call timeout," said Smith, whose team's last loss was to No. 2 Dunbar, 62-57, on Dec. 17. "The crowd was so loud, they really couldn't hear us."

The Bulldogs, who lost their two most experienced players -- Marlon Wise and John Hemsley -- to fouls in the final minute, had tied the game at 77 with 18 seconds left on a jumper by Shawn Clowney in the paint that was set up by a strange sequence.

With 43 seconds left and Lake Clifton leading 77-75, Shawnta Rogers missed the front end of an one-and-one. Brian Kennedy grabbed the rebound for Southern, which called timeout with 42 seconds left.

When play resumed, Anthony Brown's pass intended for McMurray around the three-point arc was thrown high and went into the Lake Clifton half of the court. Dante Lemmon chased after the ball for Lake Clifton.

Instead of letting the ball go out of bounds, which would have given possession to the Lakers, Lemmon saved it, but stepped out of bounds.

But Moore saved the day for Lake Clifton, ranked No. 13 nationally by USA Today, by driving through several Southern defenders for a 10-foot basket off the glass.

"It was tied up, so I just wanted the clock to run down a little bit," said Moore, a 5-foot-6 senior guard. "I was hoping to go in and get the foul and get to the line."

Rogers had a triple double for the Lakers with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Moore finished with 14 points and Reggie Frazier had 12. Shawnte Barnes scored 23 and Hemsley had 22 to lead Southern.

The Bulldogs trailed 65-53 entering the final period. Barnes opened the scoring with a three-point play, igniting a 14-2 run that was completed with a layup by Hemsley, tying the game at 67 with 4:35 left.

A jumper by Hemsley with 3:08 left gave Southern a 71-70 lead. The Lakers received a free throw from Rogers and two by Frazier to take the lead with 2:39 left. Barnes tied the game at 73 for Southern with a layup.

Rogers grabbed a rebound in the paint off a miss by Ronald Byrd and scored with 1:41 left. Barnes did the same for Southern, scoring off a miss by McMurray, tying the game at 75 with 1:09 left.

With 56 seconds to play, Wise picked up his fifth foul and Moore hit both free throws. McMurray failed to convert on the front end of an one-and-one, and Hemsley fouled Guy Butler on the rebound with 44 seconds left and was out of the game.

"We played an excellent game," said Hemsley, a 6-foot-5 junior swingman. "No one expected it to be this close. The only people who thought we had a chance were us. We stepped up and showed a lot of heart."

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