S. Carroll squanders big lead, rallies for win

3rd-quarter comeback lifts Cavaliers, 70-65

Boys basketball

February 15, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The strength of the South Carroll boys basketball team's game has been its perimeter play -- namely, three-point shooting.

But when the three-pointers aren't falling, the Cavaliers struggle. Last night was no different, as South Carroll squandered a 12-point lead in the second quarter before rallying to edge host Atholton, 70-65, in Columbia.

The Cavaliers improved to 9-10. They haven't been at .500 since Dec. 22.

But South Carroll nearly gave the game away in the second quarter, when the Raiders of Howard County outscored their opponents 22-7. After the Cavaliers made four three-pointers in the first quarter, they hit only once from behind the arc the rest of the game.

"We were rushing a little bit too much," said senior guard Derek Boswell, who led all scorers with 26 points. "They got us off of our game, and they started making their shots."

The Cavaliers got off to a quick start, a 19-9 lead after the first quarter. Two of South Carroll's four three-pointers came from senior forward Eric Laverick, and Atholton failed to score on six straight possessions.

But Raiders coach Jim Albert changed his team's defense from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone to a 3-2 zone. The last strategy seemed to befuddle the Cavaliers, who made three of 11 from the field.

"When we went to the 2-3, they shot well from the arc, and we weren't able to get after them quick enough," Albert said. "When we went to the 3-2, we were able to attack their shooters much quicker."

While South Carroll was missing, senior center Craig Smith helped Atholton erase a 12-point deficit by scoring 10 of his team-high 18 points in the second period. The Raiders hit nine of 15 from the field and had a 31-26 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Cavaliers countered with senior forward Cody Haslup -- who banged inside for nine of his 17 points and seven of his eight rebounds -- and eventually reclaimed the lead.

With South Carroll holding a 64-57 lead with 1: 30 left in the final period, Atholton (3-15) went on an 8-3 run capped by a leaning jumper at the top of the key by senior guard Steve Eureste.

But senior guard Dan Ely (11 points) hit two free throws with 15 seconds left and Boswell blocked a three-point attempt by junior forward Justin Cherot to seal the victory.

Haslup said the key was containing Smith and junior forward C.J. Williams (16 points).

"Their big men scored on us anytime they wanted to," Haslup said. "We made an adjustment at halftime to get in front of them, and we tried to get the ball inside instead of relying on our outside shots."

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