Howard can't keep up with quick PG-Douglass, suffers 63-52 defeat Lions' 36 turnovers seal their fate in semifinal

March 08, 1996|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Howard's basketball team knew what to expect against Frederick Douglass in last night's Class 3A state semifinal game at UMBC Fieldhouse.

The Lions were facing a quick and up-tempo team from Prince George's County that rebounds well and scores off its defensive pressure.

Douglass played as advertised, and that was too much for the Lions.

Howard committed 36 turnovers and trailed by as many as 21 before losing, 63-52.

Howard (13-13) played well in the first quarter, committing only four turnovers and trailing, 14-12.

Then came the second quarter.

The Lions committed 12 turnovers, many resulting in easy Douglass baskets, and were outscored, 23-7.

The Lions outscored Douglass in the second half, but the Eagles' 37-19 halftime lead was too great to overcome.

"Oh, those second quarters," said Howard coach Craig O'Connell. "That was the game in the second quarter."

Said Douglass co-coach Ed McDonald: "We were in sync then. We played as well as we could have in the second quarter."

In tomorrow's final, Douglass will play Richard Montgomery, a 50-34 winner over previously unbeaten and No. 4-ranked C.M. Wright in the other semifinal. The Eagles scored the first eight points of the second quarter for a 22-12 lead. The Lions, who were led by Chanelle Cater's 18 points, cut the deficit to 22-16, but the Eagles (23-3) used a 15-3 run to close the quarter. Howard didn't score a basket in the last five minutes and commmitted nine turnovers. "We didn't protect the ball," said O'Connell. "We lost our composure in the second quarter and before you knew it were down by 10, and it kept growing."

"Our concentrating wasn't there," said Cater. "We got a little frustrated and we weren't as patient as we should have been.

"Douglass is a great team. They have a lot of speed. One minute we had the ball, then there they go.

"We tried. We all tried. I think we played hard. I'm glad we made it here." O'Connell, whose team finished 5-9 in the Howard County League and upset Centennial in the East region semifinal, was also proud of his young team.

"I don't like losing, but I'm not disappointed," said O'Connell, who played with nine players, four of them freshmen. "I'm really proud of them. I thought we played well. Douglass is a good team. They're not 22-3 for nothing."

Douglass, ranked 11th in The Washington Post's poll, took a 46-25 lead with 4: 16 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles didn't score the rest of the quarter, and Howard, which committed 11 turnovers in the period, drew to within 46-31 entering the final quarter.

A basket by freshman Janean Allen with 1: 35 left in the game cut Douglass' lead to 60-50, but the No. 16 Lions came no closer after that.

Douglass point guard Torrie Scott led her team with 22 points.

Yamika Blackston had 11 points in her final game for the Lions, and freshman Latoya Hines had 10.

Howard played the game without Megan Boehm, one of its top rebounders, who is in California for a soccer commitment.

Pub Date: 3/08/96

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