Randallstown rides its one-man gang to title-game win Brown sparks victory over Woodlawn, 65-55

Wes Unseld tournament

December 30, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Please excuse Demon Brown if he's walking a bit crooked today. Down the stretch last night against Woodlawn, he all but carried the Randallstown Rams on his back.

The 6-foot-1 senior guard scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, helping No. 2 Randallstown pull away from the 10th-ranked Warriors for a 65-55 victory in the championship game of the 12th Annual Wes Unseld Holiday Tournament at Catonsville Community College.

After being held in check for most of the game, Brown took over, using his slick ball-handling and soft touch to turn a six-point Rams lead into 17 by midway through the fourth quarter.

"The fourth quarter is his quarter," said Rams coach Kim Rivers. "He's a money player and I'm going to give him the ball when the game's on the line. He's one of the best talents I've seen come through Baltimore in my four years here."

Thomas Stallings added 14 points and Tony Darden 12 as Randallstown (12-0) avenged last year's loss to Woodlawn in the tournament finals.

Brown said his inspired performance was more a matter of a shift in offensive philosophy than personal heroics.

"They were playing a wide zone early but staying lazy on me. Our coach told me to penetrate and dish, and get my team involved," said Brown, who earned tournament MVP honors. "At the end, they went with me when it was time to take over."

When that time came, there seemed little Woodlawn (6-2) could do about it.

"We contained him in the first half, but his will is stronger than ours," said Warriors coach Bobby Richardson. "He wasn't going to be held down."

The key stretch in the game began in the waning moments of the third quarter. Leading, 42-36, Randallstown scored the final four points of the quarter to build the lead to 10.

Then, leading by 49-40, the Rams reeled off eight straight points to put the lead at 17 and for all intents and purposes seal the win.

Woodlawn did rally late, using a 15-3 run to cut the lead to five after Sterling Brown's three-pointer with 30 seconds left. But that's where the surge ended, as the Rams scored the final five points.

"We needed to capitalize on the mistakes that they made, and we didn't do that to the best of our abilities," said Richardson.

Woodlawn started quickly, taking an 8-2 lead after four minutes as Sterling Brown connected on a pair of three pointers. Robert Gaines finished with 16 points and Brown 15 for the Warriors.

Led by Demon Brown, Randallstown used an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 16-13, early in the second quarter.

Neither team shot well from the field in the half, with each connecting on less than 30 percent of their attempts.

Woodlawn shot 26 percent through the first three quarters.

"We worked on a matchup zone today and it was key," Rivers said. "They shot a lot of outside shots and we were boxing out pretty good. Fortunately, they fell right into our game plan."

Milford Mill 48, Broadneck 47

Ray Akinola and Richard Johnson each scored 12 points as Milford Mill (7-1) held off Broadneck for third place.

The Bruins (2-5) missed a golden chance to win in the final moments. With Broadneck trailing by a point and four-tenths of a second left, Bruins forward Brooks Barnard was fouled from beyond half-court on a desperation shot. Barnard, however, missed all three foul shots and the Millers ran out the clock.

Pub Date: 12/30/97

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