Sour shooting sinks City's hopes for state title Surrattsville wins

Omar Smith's 28 lead Knights, who hit just 27%

Class 2A/Boys basketball

March 15, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- With about three minutes left in last night's Class 2A state semifinal, City's first-year coach Daryl Wade knelt before his players' bench and twice pounded his fist on the floor of the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

His team had picked the worst night to have one of its worst games, a 68-53 loss to Surrattsville (20-6) of Prince George's County, which earned the Hornets the right to face Baltimore County's Milford Mill at 6 p.m. today.

The No. 20 Knights (15-10) had 25 turnovers, many of which led to Surrattsville baskets. They were 17-of-62 (27 percent) from the field, including five of 19 from three-point range, and just 14 of 25 from the free-throw line.

The loss overshadowed an excellent effort by the Knights' Omar Smith, whose game-high 28 points included four three-pointers. Smith went 6-for-9 from the free-throw line, had three steals and grabbed five rebounds.

"This was not the kind of playing that got this team here, and I don't know if it was jitters, or what," said Wade. "The third quarter -- that was terrible. We just played terrible basketball."

During a third-period 11-2 run that put the Hornets up 42-31, the Knights' 7-foot sophomore Derrick Goode (six points, seven boards) picked up his third foul and sat out until three minutes were left in the period. City trailed 51-37 entering the final period and never closed the gap after that, as Hornets coach Jim Butler went 10 players deep to his bench.

Surrattsville was led by Earl Elam (14 points), who shot 7-for-9 from the free-throw line and had four steals. Also contributing were 6-foot-4 Harvey Thomas (12 points, 11 rebounds) and 5-8 Tony Pope (14 points, 11 rebounds).

City's Omar Smith, meanwhile, got little help offensively. His 6-4 teammate Warren Smith (seven points) had six rebounds and three steals but shot only 3-for-13 overall from the field (1-for-7 in the first half). Donte Everrett came off the bench to net eight points, but was 2-for-10 from the field.

"We wanted to get their big man [Goode] the ball, make him force stuff, or get in foul trouble. We wanted to make [Omar Smith] work hard for everything he got, but we knew he'd get his points," said the 5-5 Elam.

Surrattsville, paced by 10 points from Thomas, led 19-12 after one period. Goode made the game's first bucket on a hook shot, but the Hornets regained the tempo with an 8-0 run for an 8-2 lead.

Surrattsville, which led 31-28 at the half, used a similar run -- by 8-3 -- to go up by their largest margin of the first half, 27-15. But Omar Smith, who scored 13 of his 15 first-half points in the second period, kept the Knights afloat.

Smith single-handedly outscored the opposition 7-0, including two three-pointers, to pull the Knights within 27-22. He also scored the first half's last four points on a couple of free throws and a steal and lay-up.

It was the first time in eight years that a member of the Wade family had coached at Cole. Bob Wade, city coach Daryl Wade's father, coached the Terps for three years until 1989.

Baltimore teams are 19-2 at Cole Field House in the five years they've been in the state playoffs. Only City and Douglass, a loser in the 1994 Class 3A state title game, have not won a title after reaching the University of Maryland.

"We worked hard to get here, and we gave it our all," Daryl Wade said. "We've got some young players -- Warren Smith, Derrick and Kenny Carter -- coming back. But this just wasn't a night where you saw us play our best basketball."

SURRATTSVILLE -- Pope 14, Nickens 7, Elam 14, H. Thomas 12, Brown 4, Rogers 9, O. Thomas 6, Minnifield 2. Totals: 25 16-23 68.

CITY -- Carter 4, O. Smith 28, W. Smith 7, Goode 6, Everett 8. Totals: 17 14-25 53. Half: Surrattsville, 31-28

Pub Date: 3/15/97

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