Mervo starts fast, speeds to 61-45 win over Southwestern No. 1 Dunbar holds off Philadelphia's Franklin to take 64-62 victory

Mayor's Academy tournament

January 11, 1998|By Lem Satterfield and Derek Toney | Lem Satterfield and Derek Toney,SUN STAFF

Mervo entered the final day of the second Mayor's Basketball Academy Tournament eager to earn some respect by adding to an already impressive showing -- one that included an upset of No. 2 Randallstown.

Yesterday, the Mustangs may have done just that by hammering defending Class 4A state champ Southwestern, 65-41, at Coppin State University.

In the decisive first period, Mervo built a 20-7 lead as Marcus Hatten scored nine of his 16 points, and Damien Jenifer netted eight of his team-high 21. From that point, the Mustangs (7-2) easily controlled the game's pace, leading 34-18 at halftime, and 51-33 after three periods.

Hatten, who had 27 points in Friday's victory over Randallstown, also grabbed 12 rebounds, had 10 assists and six steals and was selected the Mustangs' Most Valuable Player by the tournament committee. Jenifer had eight assists and eight rebounds to go with six steals.

Teammates Hugh Brown (16 points) and Melvin Bridges (13 rebounds, two points) also contributed.

"People may see this and be shocked, but it's not really a surprise to us," said Jenifer, who scored 17 points vs. Randallstown. "We've played hard every game, every night. We've been with each other for four years. This feels real good."

It was the fifth straight victory for the Mustangs, who began the year ranked No. 18. In that stretch, the Mustangs of coach Woody Williams have beaten then-No. 15 Douglass, then-No. 6 Lake Clifton and then-No. 2 Randallstown in order, before yesterday's win over the Sabers.

Mervo's only losses have been to No. 1 Dunbar and Central of Prince George's County.

"All the other years, being beaten by these schools, this means a lot to us seniors. It means a lot to our whole school and to our program," said Jenifer. "It's an honest mistake for someone to make, but all we want is respect, and we feel as though this makes us one of the top teams. But we're not going to slack off or anything."

Earl Carr, held to five points by Mervo, was chosen the MVP for Southwestern, which won last year's 4A state championship with a 27-0 record, but fell to 8-8 this season. Marcus Oliver (nine points), Chris Green (eight) and Donta Brown (eight) were the leaders for Southwestern.

No. 1 Dunbar 64, Franklin Learning Center 62: Most Valuable Player Jamal Brown scored 24 points and grabbed his ninth rebound -- on the defensive side -- with five seconds left to lift the Poets past their foes from Philadelphia.

Dontaz Dean had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Arnold Bowie scored all 14 of his points in the second half and Larry Tucker scored six of his seven points in the critical fourth period for the Poets, who trailed until the fourth period.

Brown was 10-for-13 at the free throw line for the Poets (9-2), who were without star guard Tim Lyles. Lyles was serving a one-game suspension after being ejected late in Friday night's victory over Paul Robeson of New York. Franklin was led by 6-8 Charles Pringle (13 points), 6-7 Reggie Bullock (17 points), who nailed a hat trick of three-pointers before fouling out with 2: 58 left, and 6-1 guard Gene Banks (14).

Dunbar trailed, 18-16, after the first period, and, 39-30, at the half, but closed the gap to 48-47, by out-scoring the Bobcats, 17-9, in the third period, where it got nine points from Brown and eight from Bowie. A jumper by Dunbar's Larry Tucker tied the game at 50-50 with 6: 43 to play, Brown's free throws, its first lead, 60-59, with 2: 00 left. Tucker, on a layup, regained a 62-61 lead with 39 seconds to go before sealing it with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left.

Douglass 66, No. 2 Randallstown 64, OT: Chuckie Harris' jumper with six seconds remaining in overtime lifted Douglass past No. 2 Randallstown, handing the Rams their second straight loss.

Harris, who led all scorers with 27 points, hit a tough fall-away jumper from about 15 feet, helping the Ducks (7-6) rally from a four-point overtime deficit and avenge an 83-78 loss to Randallstown last month at the Randallstown Tournament.

"When I got it, I felt I could hit it," said Harris, a 6-foot-1 senior guard who scored six of Douglass' eight overtime points. "We just had to keep fighting, and not let this one get away."

Randallstown (8-2), which trailed by as many as 17 points, had one last opportunity to tie or win, but Gerald Banton was trapped near midcourt and couldn't get off a shot. After building a four-point lead in overtime, the Rams had two turnovers and two missed shots in their final five possessions.

"These two losses are probably the best thing that could happen the program," said Randallstown coach Kim Rivers, who was without All-Metro guard Demon Brown, who is out for at least a month due to a tendon injury to his shooting hand. "The kids are going to work harder in practice and be more focused."

Douglass trailed 64-60 with 2: 47 left in overtime when Harris scored on a layup. Trevis Buchanan tied the game at 64 with 1: 38 remaining after following a miss by Harris.

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