Darden leads Rams to Tip-Off title His 19 points, 10 rebounds key win over Southern-B.

December 15, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The final rebounding stats for yesterday's game between Randallstown and Southern-Baltimore showed the Bulldogs with a slight edge.

But Tony Darden proved to be the biggest factor for Randallstown.

The 6-foot-5 junior had 10 rebounds to go along with 19 points, leading the host No. 11 Rams past the No. 9 Bulldogs, 70-62, in the Randallstown Tip-Off Classic championship.

Junior point guard Demon Brown was top scorer for Randallstown (3-0) with 20 points. Charles Scott led Southern (2-2) with 15 and Emil Curry scored 12.

The Rams were out-rebounded, 25-23, but 13 were on the offensive end. Darden finished with five offensive rebounds.

"We felt after the [Friday's] game that we didn't box out," said Darden, referring to his team's 58-52 semifinal win over No. 17 Towson Catholic. "We were here at 9 o'clock this morning working on boxing out and fundamentals. Basically, it paid off."

The final result for Randallstown was the inaugural tourney title, won by beating two Top 20 teams.

The Rams, who have been to the state Class 3A semifinals the last two seasons, will play two more Top 20 foes this week. First is county-rival and No. 16 Woodlawn tomorrow, and then on Friday will come No. 2 Lake Clifton at the Function in the Junction Mixer at Walbrook.

Randallstown was leading 47-45 early in the final quarter yesterday when Darden came up with a steal, then converted two free throws, starting a 5-0 run (all free throws) to build a 52-45 lead.

The Bulldogs closed to 56-52 with 3: 54 remaining on a three- pointer by Scott. On the next Randallstown possession, Darden rebounded a miss by Jerry Venable (eight points, six rebounds) leading to two more Darden free throws.

"We've spent a lot of time in practice on rebounding and boxing out, and we told them [again about their importance] before the game," said Southern coach Meredith Smith. "It was the first thing written on the chalkboard in pre-game, but that's to be expect ed of a young team."

Trailing 41-32, Southern went on a 10-0 run, capped by a layup from by Collins Murdock, for its only lead of the game with 1: 24 left in the third quarter. Chauncey McGee immediately regained the lead for the Rams with a three-pointer.

"We could have done a little better on the defensive end," said Randallstown coach Kim Rivers. "In the second half, we picked it up on the offensive end, as far as the rebounding. We were able to get second shots, and I think our pressure defense was able to wear them down in the third and fourth quarters."

In the consolation game, Todd Sykes scored 16 points as No. 17 Towson Catholic (3-2) made 37 of 52 free throws in defeating No. 14 Walbrook (0-2), 59-45.

Calvert Hall 78, Anacostia 67: Juan Dixon broke the tournament record for points scored in one game -- 47 -- and led visiting Calvert Hall (5-1) past Anacostia in the second round of the Gonzaga D.C. Classic in Washington.

Calvert Hall faces St. Maria Gorretti in the consolation game today at 12: 15 p.m.

Pub Date: 12/15/96

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