Baltimore's girls, boys get dunked in Parkway

Johnson, Payne lead D.C. all-stars to wins

July 18, 1999|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Playing on her home court yesterday at Coolidge High School, Shalayna Johnson displayed the talent in the Parkway Classic that she will be bringing to UMBC.

Coming off the bench, the 5-foot-9 guard scored 30 points in 31 minutes as the D.C. all-stars defeated the Baltimore all-stars, 78-69.

The Baltimore team -- joined in defeat by the boys, who lost, 123-97, despite a 41-point effort from Mervo's Marcus Hatten -- used a 21-point effort by Walbrook's Dena McGriff to mount a formidable challenge and come within three points in the second half, but could not overcome the fast start that Washington had with the help of Johnson.

"I was motivated to play today," said Johnson, who lost out for MVP honors to Tiana Wilson of Dunbar (D.C.), who had 26 points and nine rebounds. "For someone to consider me an all-star, it was a good feeling."

One person who shared that good feeling was UMBC women's basketball coach Jennifer Bednarek, who watched the game in the spacious but muggy Coolidge gym.

As her team trudged to a 13-13 finish during the 1998-99 season, the first-year coach told everyone that her team would benefit from the infusion of freshman talent in her second year.

Five players are set to join the Retrievers next season, including Johnson, the top scorer in the metropolitan Washington area last season with 29 points per game.

Entering three minutes into the game, Johnson wasted no time showing off her offensive moves, with nine of her 16 first-half points coming in four minutes as the D.C. all-stars took a 19-6 lead, on the way to a 41-34 advantage after 20 minutes.

In the boys game, the Baltimore team got off to a sluggish start, falling behind 15-2 as Washington's Derrick Payne dazzled with a series of long-range jumpers and dunks.

But the visitors made a vigorous comeback, forcing turnovers and using fast-break baskets to take a 50-47 lead at halftime.

In the final half, however, Baltimore's intensity lagged and Washington's Brian Chase -- headed to Virginia Tech -- took over at about the 10-minute mark on the way to 28 points and MVP honors.

"It's feast or famine; you win by a lot or lose by a lot," said Baltimore coach Woody Williams of Mervo.

Pub Date: 7/18/99

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