Newport contains Mouring, wins, 74-72 Richardson star held to season-low 23 points, Colonels' rally falls short

Charm City Classic

February 02, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In American Corner, a sleepy hideaway between Denton and Federalsburg on the Eastern Shore, Colonel Richardson forward Albert Mouring has become a local legend.

Entering yesterday's game at the First National Bank Charm City Classic, Mouring's 38.3-point scoring average and the country's highest three-point shooting percentage had earned him the status as not only one of the top seniors on the Shore, but in the nation.

Against constant double- and triple-teams from Kensington's Newport School, however, the University of Connecticut recruit proved that he is still mortal. He scored a season-low 23 points on 8-for-26 shooting as Newport hung on for a 74-72 victory before 2,500 at the Towson Center.

"We didn't want him to get his 40," said Newport first-year coach Chris Chaney. "Some people say, well let him get his 40 and stop everyone else. I don't buy that he's going to score 40 points, unless you're just not playing defense."

The Tigers showed the senior plenty of that, with guards Dolonte Hill and Branon Barday blanketing him for most of the game. The only wide-open shots he had all night were from nearly 30 feet out, where he nailed two of three.

"We wanted to limit his shots and make him take bad shots with our defensive pressure," said Hill. "I think that's what made us win today."

Meanwhile, it was Newport, the Washington Post's 15th-ranked team, that was having its way on offense.

The Tigers (20-2) shot 58 percent in the second half, building their lead to as much as 17 points late in the third quarter.

Led by Hill (19 points), Artie Willa (15), Abe Veppumthara (13), DerMarr Johnson (11) and Kevin Mach (10), Newport controlled the tempo and the game, until a late rally by the Colonels almost stole it away in the final moments.

Down by 10 with just over five minutes to play, the Colonels began to hit their shots from the perimeter, as Mouring scored seven in a 14-6 run that pulled his team to within two with 2: 21 to play.

Then, with just 40 seconds remaining, Daryl Thompson's three-pointer cut the lead to one before a pair of foul shots and a layup sealed the win for Newport.

"We gave them a good run," said Richardson coach Merrill Morgan. "We're lacking a little depth this year, and we made a couple mistakes that we weren't supposed to make that hurt us."

Said Chaney: "Their other guys were stepping their games up and hitting open shots. We didn't think they could do that consistently, but they did. We're just happy to get out with a win."

With his team in the midst of a five-games-in-six-days stretch, he said fatigue might have also been a factor.

Colonel Richardson (10-6) started quickly, grabbing a 14-9 lead after the first 4: 26. With Newport keying on Mouring, others stepped to the forefront, including Vernon Murray -- with a pair of three-pointers -- and Lamontra Fountain -- with 11 first-half points.

With Mouring held to seven first-half points, however, Newport began to take control late in the second period.

Morgan said his star player has been the main focus of every opposing team's defense this year.

"This has been going on all year," said Morgan. "In most of the games, there's two or three guys on him, and he still scores up around 40. This team was a little bigger and a little stronger than what we're used to seeing."

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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