No. 1 Southern handles Dunbar of D.C. Bulldogs advance to final of Capital City Challenge

January 20, 1996|By John Harris III | John Harris III,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

UPPER MARLBORO -- Despite early foul trouble, No. 1 Southern-B showed why it is the fifth-ranked high school basketball team in USA Today.

The Bulldogs scored 10 unanswered points in the final three minutes to turn back Dunbar of Washington, 56-49, in the semifinals of the Capital City Challenge at The Show Place Arena.

Tonight at 8:15 Southern (8-0) will take on New York City's Rice in the Group B championship game. Rice won its semifinal by forfeit over Suitland.

Crimson Tide forward Xavier Singletary gave his team its last lead at 49-46 with a three-pointer at 3:05.

Dedric Galloway (18 points) matched Singletary's feat from the top of the key 10 seconds later. Marlin Wise's layup with 1:15 remaining gave the Bulldogs the lead for good. John Hemsley (17 points) sank two free throws and converted an acrobatic three-point play to ice the win.

"I thought we were a little flat. This was the first time we've been in a contest in a couple weeks," said Bulldog coach Meredith Smith. "When some of our starters got in foul trouble, that really hurt us, but they stepped it up in the end."

Hemsley credited his team's calm under fire for the win.

"Whenever they made a run, we stayed poised," he said. "Basketball is a game of runs. We just capitalized on ours at the right time. We played with a senior's mentality at the end. Dunbar was a really good team."

Southern began the first two minutes of the game with an 8-2 run -- thanks to baskets by Kofi Pointer, Galloway, Wise and Hemsley. The Bulldogs closed with a 6-2 spurt to take its largest lead of the first half at 17-8. Hemsley scored four points during the span with a layup and a jumper.

The Crimson Tide (12-3) outscored Southern 21-11 in the second quarter to take a 31-28 lead into halftime.

Ousseynoe Kane (nine points, six rebounds, five blocked shots), a 6-foot-9 reserve center, spurred the run with two ferocious dunks. Kane's dominance may have been helped by the benching of Pointer (seven points, eight rebounds and two blocks), who sat out the majority of the quarter with two fouls.

* St. Frances 86, Cathedral Prep 59: Mark Karcher had a triple double (13 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) to lead No. 3 St. Frances (14-3) over Pennsylvania's Cathedral Prep (13-4) in the first round of the McDonald's Classic in Erie, Pa.

Shawn Hampton (eight rebounds, six blocks) and Alphonzo Jones (eight assists) each scored 16 for the Panthers.

St. Frances will meet Paterson Catholic (N.J.) -- featuring Tim Thomas, one of the nation's top players -- in the championship game tonight at 8:30.

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