Southwestern victorious but fight shortens game Randallstown, down 19, leaves after fans battle

Boys basketball

February 21, 1997|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

No. 1 Southwestern completed an undefeated regular season with a 64-43 win over No. 7 Randallstown in a non-conference matchup yesterday that ended early in the fourth quarter because of a fight involving spectators.

Cornelius McMurray led all scorers with 21 points for Southwestern (21-0), and Dion Smith added 15. Demon Brown led visiting Randallstown (18-3) with 19 points, and Jerry Venable contributed 12 and six rebounds.

The game was stopped with 6: 12 remaining after a fight involving several spectators. A Southwestern student had been attacked in a restroom downstairs, and a resulting fight spilled onto the court. No players from either team were involved.

After calm was restored and Southwestern officials cleared the gym, Randallstown coach Kim Rivers decided not to conclude )) the game.

"Due to the situation that happened in Woodlawn and not having an administrator around at the time, I had to make the decision that was best," said Rivers, referring to a regular-season contest Woodlawn that ended at halftime after a fight involving fans.

"If there was an administrator, they would had made the decision, but it was up to me, and I had to worry about the safety of my kids."

Said a disappointed Southwestern coach Terry Leverett: "We cleared the gym, and the spectators left were from Randallstown, but he still refused to finish the game. What he simply said was, 'We won, look at the score, and that's the game."

It was an ugly end to a perfect regular-season for Southwestern. The last Baltimore team to go undefeated in the regular season was the 1991-1992 national championship team, Dunbar, 27-0 for the season and 29-0 overall.

The Sabers led from the opening tip, taking command with a 24-3 run from the midway in the second quarter until midway in the third, to build a 50-25 lead.

"We played pretty good in the second half," said McMurray, a 6-foot-1 junior. "We came out sluggish in the first half, but once we broke a sweat, we turned it up."

A layup by McMurray off one of the Rams' 25 turnovers gave Southwestern a 24-12 advantage early in the second quarter. Randallstown used a 10-2 run, six from Brown, to pull to within 26-22, but that would be the closest the Rams would get.

Leading 34-23 at halftime, Southwestern opened the second half with eight straight points, including two three-pointers from McMurray, to build a 42-23 margin with 6: 23 left in the third quarter.

Both teams now get an opportunity to finish some business from last season -- trying for their league championships.

Randallstown and Woodlawn play for the county title tomorrow night.

Southwestern was to play No. 4 Lake Clifton at home Wednesday, but Bob Wade, interim director of city interscholastic sports, said after yesterday's fight the site may be changed because of possible crowd-control problems at the Sabers' small gym.

Pub Date: 2/21/97

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