Jackson paces Havre de Grace to upset win over C.M. Wright Warriors' 4th-period rally topples No. 16 team, 62-54

January 27, 1996|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Havre de Grace, which had come up short in two losses in earlier Harford County League games, had it when it needed it most at first-place and No. 16 C. Milton Wright last night.

The Mustangs led for 17 minutes through the middle of the game, then had no answer when Havre de Grace's Warriors scored eight of the first 11 fourth-quarter points to get a tie at 48 and went on to a 62-54 victory.

Billy Jackson's 24 points and the floor presence -- even more than his 13 points -- of J.R. Clark helped Havre de Grace (7-4, 3-2) snap a two-game slide that had seen it lose to Aberdeen by three and North East by one.

The loss by Wright (8-4, 4-1) halted a six-game winning streak.

Over the last five days, both teams have seen what the loss of a leader can do. First it was Havre de Grace, without 13-point scorer John Sawyer for the Aberdeen and North East losses (he sprained an ankle after practice Monday).

Last night, with Sawyer playing hurt but still able to contribute 10 second-half points with some solid effort, it was C.M. Wright's turn to feel the pain.

Senior point guard Pete Troilo went out with a sprained ankle early in a win at Edgewood earlier in the week, and is expected to be lost for at least two weeks.

"We had a team meeting yesterday [Thursday], and I think it motivated the players," Havre de Grace coach George Leonard said. "Even though Clark was 3-for-15 from the floor through three quarters, he's the key to our offense, just by virtue of being on the floor. With him we are up-tempo, and the kids believe in him."

Jackson came on last night to pick up the slack for the Warriors. Slashing to the basket and always on the move, he had nine of his points in the last quarter.

"There was no question we missed Peter," said Wright coach George Constantine. "Without him, we had a tough time getting into our offense, particularly in the fourth quarter."

The Mustangs were up 46-42 less than two minutes into the last period, but two Sawyer baskets and one by Jackson got the tie at 48. While the home team was going scoreless, Havre de Grace bolted in front, 54-48, mostly on the strength of two-point and three-point baskets by the 5-foot-8 Jackson.

The loss spoiled a fine night for C.M. Wright's 6-5 senior Dave Rueckert, who had 19 points and 16 rebounds.

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