Lake Clifton cruises past Arundel, 87-70

March 10, 1995|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- It's now down to one more victory for Lake Clifton. One victory to fulfill the simple challenge it made in November: "Get it done."

The No. 1 Lakers advanced to the state 4A championship game, defeating No. 4 Arundel, 87-70, in a semifinal game last night at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

Shawnta Rogers led Lake Clifton (22-1) with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Jimmy Moore added 19 and 4A BOYS BASKETBALL

three steals. Bakari Ward scored a game-high 23 points for Arundel.

Lake Clifton, ranked No. 13 in this week's USA Today Super 25, will play Springbrook, ranked No. 2 by the Washington Post, for the state title, tomorrow night at 8.

Ronald Byrd added 15 points and seven rebounds for Lake Clifton, and Guy Butler and Reggie Frazier each scored 12 points.

Lake Clifton played perhaps its best first half of the season, displaying its superiority in the paint and excellent interior passing and quickness on defense to build a 15-point halftime advantage.

It came with a price, though, as four starters had at least two fouls -- Rogers had three. But that was never a factor as the Lakers maintained a double-digit cushion the rest of the way.

"The execution was outstanding, especially in the first half and early part of the second half," said Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore. "We had excellent ball movement and on defense, we had a hand in the face and cut off the passing lanes."

Arundel (22-3), making its first state semifinal appearance in 20 years, had an opportunity to close the margin under 10 points early in the second half, but Ward missed an easy layup.

The shot typified Arundel's night. The Wildcats shot only 25-for-66 from the field, and made only 16 of 42 in the final 16 minutes, and had 20 turnovers.

"They [Lake Clifton] were always around the ball," said Arundel coach Gerald Moore, whose team's 11-game winning streak ended. "Their group of guards really did the job for them."

Things actually started out well for Arundel last night. The Wildcats built an early 10-6 lead.

Then Lake Clifton began slowly to take control of the game.

The Lakers went on a 17-3 run to take a commanding 24-13 lead with 25 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The Wildcats pulled within 26-20, but Lake Clifton scored 12 of the next 14, using its quickness on both ends and getting second and third scoring opportunities, to take a 38-22 lead with 2:19 remaining in the first half.

The score was 44-29 at halftime, but Arundel scored the first two baskets to pull within 11.

It was the closest the Wildcats would get as Lake Clifton had a 60-43 lead after three quarters, then extended it to as many as 23 points in the final quarter.

"Making the extra pass is what did it for us tonight," said Rogers, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the final quarter. "It made getting layups easier and we didn't have to go one-on-one. Everybody passed well tonight."

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