Atholton wins after Lightning shorts out Long Reach bows, 84-83, after dominating 3 periods

February 06, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

For three quarters, Long Reach's "Diaper Dandies" easily were the superior team yesterday at Atholton. The Lightning led by 14 at that point.

Fortunately for Atholton, however, Long Reach had to play a fourth quarter, because that's when the older Atholton team took control and snatched an 84-83 victory.

Led by senior guard Keith Jefferson and senior center Bryan Worsley, Atholton outscored Long Reach 35-20 in the fourth quarter. The Lightning led 67-53 early in that final period.

Jefferson scored 14 of his 25 points in that final frame, including two of his four three-point baskets. And Worsley scored 11 of his 23 points.

Jefferson shot 14-for-16 overall at the foul line, and was 8-for-8 from there in the fourth quarter.

"At the end, they just had too many weapons, and we didn't know who to stop," said Long Reach's Devin Conwell, a freshman whose 27-point, 11-rebound effort was wasted. "After we switched from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone and started stopping Worsley inside, then Jefferson started hitting his outside jumpers."

Conwell's two free throws tied the game at 83 with 33 seconds left.

Atholton (10-7 overall, 10-3 league) also received strong efforts from Brian Boykins (15 points, nine rebounds) and Jahmaar Stafford (16 points), who sank three three-point baskets in the first quarter.

Boykins, after rebounding a missed Atholton shot and getting fouled, sank the game-winning free throw with four seconds left.

Atholton, which was upset by Long Reach Jan. 3 on a 30-foot basket at the buzzer, nearly experienced deja vu yesterday when Chris Smith's final, desperation shot from beyond midcourt bounced off the front of the rim.

Smith, a junior who sank four three-pointers and scored 25 points, broke several different Atholton defenses from his point-guard position.

First-year Long Reach (6-9, 4-9) started three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior.

"Long Reach played very well, and we were fortunate to come out on top," said Atholton coach Jim Albert. "We picked up our intensity and did better in transition late in the game."

Conwell and White each played with four fouls in the fourth quarter, but teammate Turon Kosh fouled out with five minutes to play.

"He's our best defensive player, so that really hurt us," said Long Reach coach Al Moraz.

Atholton dug itself an early hole by making 16 first-half turnovers and allowing smaller Long Reach to beat it on the boards. The Raiders' Worsley, however, led all rebounders with 13.

Long Reach shot 30-for-65 (46 percent) from the field, and Atholton was 26-for-52 (50 percent).

Pub Date: 2/06/97

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