South Carroll keeps its guard up, stopping Urbana in CMC opener

Cavaliers open fast, getting 25 from Stickland, 24 from Moss in 78-66 win

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 04, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The story of last night's boys basketball game between South Carroll and Urbana was about lost-and-found point guards.

Which helps explain why the 78-66 South Carroll win was never really close. The Cavaliers led 21-10 after the first quarter, and the Hawks never pulled closer than seven points again in the CMC opener for both teams.

Urbana (4-4 overall, 0-1 Central Maryland League), which beat Randallstown and Edmondson and made it to the finals of the Wes Unseld Tournament only to lose to Northwestern, is a team that lost its star point guard Chris O'Connor in the semifinals of that tournament with a broken foot. O'Connor was averaging 23 points.

No. 17-ranked South Carroll (6-1, 1-0), coming off a championship at the Middletown Tournament, is a team that found a point guard, DeMatha transfer Marshall Strickland, and is unbeaten in the five games he has played.

Strickland, averaging 26.5 points, scored 25 last night despite missing about a quarter with a cut to his forehead suffered in a collision while lunging for a loose ball.

Bill Moss scored a season-high 24 points for South Carroll and was the beneficiary of an Urbana defense that concentrated on Strickland and 6-foot-6 South Carroll center Josh Boone.

"They sagged on Strickland and Boone and let Moss alone in a man defense," Cavs coach Jim Canes said. "They put no pressure on the wings, and Brian Linton helped by hitting a couple of threes. And when they played a three-quarters court press, Moss was able to get free. They don't let you play a pretty game. They are real aggressive."

Boone, averaging 18.5 points, was guarded by 6-2 Travis Sheets, who held him to five points and drew Boone into early foul trouble. Boone did grab 10 rebounds and block six shots.

"I thought Sheets did a good job," Urbana coach Terry Connolly said. "But we're still finding our way without O'Connor. This was our first full game without him."

Connolly is uncertain whether O'Connor is out for the season.

Moss scored 18 of his points in the first half and the Cavs led 38-27 at halftime. Urbana cut it to 48-41 on a three-pointer by Bowers, but South Carroll scored the last six points of the third quarter and the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

"We didn't play well as a team," Moss said. "Urbana played the best defense we've faced so far. I just happened to be the one open tonight, and my teammates gave me a lot of good looks."

Strickland, who scored 59 points in the Middletown Tournament, scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter and was able to penetrate and hit from long range throughout the game.

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