No. 13 Howard gets past City, 40-28, in opener

March 01, 1995|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

Howard entered the playoffs last season with a sub-.500 record and got on a roll that didn't end until the Lions had won the Class 3A state championship.

In the opening round of the Class 3A East Region playoffs yesterday, the 13th-ranked Lions failed to come close to the level of play that typified last year's postseason run, but they still managed to hold off host and fourth-seeded City, 40-28.

Chanelle Carter scored 14 points and Mona Jackson added 13 for fifth-seeded Howard (15-8), which will meet top-seeded and No. 19 Poly in tomorrow's semifinals.

It shot just 24 percent (15-for-62) from the field, including a 2-for-21 (10 percent) performance in a seven-point second quarter.

"If you win, you're happy," Howard coach Craig O'Connell said. "If you lose, you go home and kick yourself because you shot so bad. Every team will have a game where they shoot like this. Now we can move on."

Although his team ended the regular season on a five-game winning streak, O'Connell said he wasn't surprised by his team's flat performance.

"I told the team that we would have to win our last five games to get into the playoffs," he said. "And they did it. I think they felt like they accomplished the hardest thing. It was very emotional for them. I almost knew this would happen."

Despite the Lions' offensive difficulties, their trademark pressure defense was too much for the Knights (10-8), who were limited to just nine field goals.

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