City's cold spell opens door for Friendly win Knights' 3rd-quarter misses take toll in 55-46 defeat

Class 3A boys basketball

March 15, 1998|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Special to the Sun

COLLEGE PARK -- When the final buzzer sounded at Cole Field House yesterday, City's coaches and players gathered by its bench.

The No. 19 Knights advanced one step beyond last year's semifinal appearance, but came up short in the state 3A $H championship game, losing to Friendly of Prince George's County, 55-46.

Raymond Baker led Friendly (16-11) with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds. Dorian Johnson added 15 and Jamal Shivers had 13. Kenny Carter led City (16-12) with 11 points and senior Warren Smith had 10.

After getting off to a fast start, foul problems and poor shooting would catch up with City, which lost to Surrattsville of Prince George's County in the Class 2A semifinals last season.

The loss was only the third by a Baltimore City team in a state title game, and kept the Knights from joining the crowd of seven teams from Baltimore City to win a state championship. Also yesterday, Baltimore City's Forest Park upended Pocomoke, 43-41, in Class 1A and Dunbar defeated Central, 57-40, in Class 3A.

The Knights closed within 32-30 early in the final quarter after a jumper by Kyle Pompey, which completed a 9-0 run. Baker came right back for Friendly with a three-point play, then Kenny Hart scored on a layup, building the Patriots' margin to 37-30 with 6: 59 remaining.

From that point it was an uphill battle for City, which could get no closer than five points the rest of the game.

"We fell apart," said City coach Daryl Wade. "[Kenny] Carter got into foul trouble, and we made a lot of crucial mistakes early and couldn't get back into the rhythm we were in to start the game."

After jumping out to a 10-point lead early, City struggled against Friendly's 1-3-1 zone defense, shooting 15-for-42 from the field, including two of 16 from three-point range.

The Knights nearly went an entire quarter without a field goal as Friendly turned a 23-20 deficit into a 32-23 lead with 1: 47 remaining in the third quarter.

Smith, who had a team-high eight rebounds, broke the drought with a rebound and basket, then added three free throws, bringing City to 32-28 at the end of the quarter.

It was 32-30 after Pompey's basket, but Baker's three-point play and the layup by Hart put City in a seven-point hole.

"We had a lot of players in foul trouble and we had to use a lot of underclassmen," said Carter, a senior who had three assists. "We could never make up the deficit, and when we tried, we just didn't have enough."

Carter, a 5-foot-9 senior point guard, helped City to a quick 8-0 lead with a three-point play. The Knights extended it to 14-4 after a basket by Dominic Fulcher.

Carter, who picked up two fouls in the first quarter, hit a jumper giving City a 23-20 lead. It would be the last field goal for the Knights until late in the third period.

Friendly got a three-pointer from Shivers plus a free throw and basket by Baker to gain a 26-23 halftime lead. The Patriots built the lead to 32-23 after a layup by Walker with 1: 47 remaining in the third quarter.

"We played like we were scared to make mistakes against their zone after Carter got into foul trouble," Wade said. "It's not like we've never seen one before. We proved that we can attack it with our start, but we just couldn't finish it off."

CITY -- Galloway 6, Smith 10, Carter 11, Fulcher 8, Pompey 5, Grimes 2, Akambi 1, Williams 3. Totals 16 14-20 46.

FRIENDLY -- Johnson 15, Baker 16, Jones 2, Shivers 13, Walker 6, Ferguson 1, Hart 2. Totals 20 13-26 55. Half: F, 26-23.

Pub Date: 3/15/98

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