Byrd's 24 points lead Lake Clifton past Lincoln (N.Y.), 61-55 CHARM CITY CLASSIC

January 28, 1995|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

On a night when an overflow crowd of 4,500 packed Loyola College's Reitz Arena to witness a matchup of Lake Clifton's Shawnta Rogers and Stephon Marbury of Lincoln of New York, Ronald Byrd ended up with the rave reviews.

Last night, Byrd led all scorers with 24 points, leading No. 1 Lake Clifton, ranked No. 12 by USA Today, to a 61-55 victory over Lincoln, ranked No. 10 nationally, in the First National Bank Charm City Classic.

The Lakers (13-0) advanced to tonight's 8:45 Southeast bracket title game against St. Anthony of Jersey City, N.J., which defeated Dunbar, the area's No. 2 team. St. Anthony defeated the Lakers in their last meeting two years ago at the Charm City Classic.

Rogers finished with 13 points and five assists for the Lakers. Marbury led Lincoln (15-2) with 21 points and seven assists. Gerald Hawkins had 14 points.

But the night belonged to Byrd, who was 5-for-8 from three-point range and kept the Lakers in the game until the fourth-quarter charge.

"We knew that they would be coming into play Shawnta, and I had to step up my game," said Byrd, a 6-foot-2 senior guard. "We passed more and kept our heads in the game."

The Lakers, who didn't take their first lead until the opening basket of the fourth quarter, built a 54-49 lead with 1:04 remaining.

With 47 seconds left, Marbury hit a layup. Then Lincoln's half-court press resulted in a Lakers turnover. That was converted into a reverse layup by Hawkins, pulling Lincoln to 54-53 with 37 seconds left.

After two free throws by Jimmy Moore gave the Lakers a 56-53 lead, Corey Valentine bounced the ball off his foot and then fouled Moore. Moore converted two free throws for a 58-53 lead with 26 seconds left.

With 20 seconds left, Hawkins hit a layup bringing Lincoln to 58-55. After a free throw by Moore, Marbury turned the ball over with 10 seconds left. Rogers closed out the victory for the Lakers with two free throws.

"There comes a time that you have to step it up, and we stepped it up," said Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore. "We wanted to put pressure on the ball and Stephon."

In the second half, the Lakers slowed down Marbury, who scored eight points in the half after electrifying the crowd with 14 points and seven assists in the first 16 minutes.

"They played a good game," he said. "They triple- and double-teamed me every time I got the ball. They played very well together."

Marbury opened the second half with a layup, extending Lincoln's lead to 32-28. Rogers hit two free throws, making it 32-30 with 6:42 left in the third quarter.

After missing six attempts after Marbury's layup, Valentine scored off his miss. Marbury hit two free throws, pushing the Lincoln lead to 36-30.

Henry Hurst pulled the Lakers within 36-32. With 2:01 left, Guy Butler got the crowd into the game with a dunk, closing the deficit to two.

Then it was Byrd tying the game with a baseline jumper with 1:37 left. A basket by Valentine gave Lincoln the lead back at 38-36 with 1:18 to play in the third.

The overflow crowd was treated to a one-on-one matchup of Rogers and Marbury, two of the country's best guards.

Marbury, who's heading to Georgia Tech, had the early hand with great passing, leading to three assists in Lincoln's first three baskets.

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