Lake Clifton holds off persistent Douglass Rebounding keeps Lakers in control of 76-69 game

February 15, 1997|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With their coach away for most of last week because of a death in his family, several Lake Clifton players said that staying focused has been difficult.

But the No. 4 Lakers needed to be at full attention yesterday against visiting Douglass, the area's No. 14-ranked team and a squad that on the road had pushed Southern-Baltimore and No. 1 Southwestern to the brink earlier in the season.

Once again, Douglass was still fighting late in the game, but the Lakers were able to collect a 76-69 victory in a Baltimore City non-divisional game.

Kevin Braswell led Lake Clifton (14-3) with 22 points and eight assists. Mike King added 18 points, and junior Rodney Bass had 12 points and 14 rebounds. Charles Harris led Douglass (11-6) with 22 points, tying with Braswell for game-high honors.

The Lakers had a 72-62 cushion with less than a minute remaining, but the Ducks made things interesting, pulling to 72-67 with 28 seconds left. The Lakers made four of six free throws to keep Douglass at bay.

The Lakers flexed their muscles on the boards, out-rebounding Douglass 45-29, including 11 on offense. Lake Clifton also had 15 second-chance opportunities.

Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore missed the last two games but will be back on the sidelines Tuesday against Carver. Assistant coach Joe McCallum has led the Lakers in Moore's absence.

"It has been hard not having him around," said Braswell, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, about Moore's absence. "He's always on our back. Without him here, we haven't practiced as hard. He keeps us pumped up, always."

Early in the fourth quarter, with a 52-45 lead, the Lakers ran off six fast-break points with Braswell and King doing the work with four and two points respectively.

But Douglass has proven resilient this season. The Ducks pulled to 70-60 with 1: 27 left on a three-pointer by Joe Ison (18 points). A layup by Harris made it 71-62 with 1: 08 remaining.

After Lake Clifton's Braswell hit one of two one-and-one free throws, making the score 72-62, John Robinson hit a three-pointer for Douglass and Harris converted a steal into a layup to get the Ducks five points away.

"They were able to slow it down and make good passes inside to their big men," said Douglass coach Rodney Cofield, whose team plays host to No. 11 Dunbar on Tuesday afternoon.

Douglass, which led only after the game's first basket, trailed 37-35 midway in the third quarter after Dominique Liverpool of Lake Clifton accidentally slammed in two points into the Ducks' basket.

"I thought we were a little tense early," said McCallum, who's Lake Clifton's JV coach. "They've responded real well without coach [Moore]. Basically, this win was for him."

Pub Date: 2/15/97

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