Strickland sits

South Carroll falls

Flu sidelines junior

Howard triumphs, 63-49

High Schools

January 09, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Those who came to see South Carroll's Marshall Strickland play against Howard last night went home disappointed.

Those who came to see the Lions' Brandon Gregory and LaMar Parrish did not.

Strickland, who averages 27 points a game and is widely recognized as one of the top-rated junior players in he country, sat out with a case of the flu and could only watch from the end of the bench as the host Lions, led by 25 points from Gregory and 23 from Parrish, upset the No. 16 Cavaliers, 63-49.

"I think our kids were really down that [Strickland] didn't play," said Howard coach Derrick Dunlap. "A lot of kids wanted to face off against him because he's such a good player. But hey, it's still a win."

Albeit an ugly win. Dunlap was the first to admit that much, as his team moved to 6-3 overall while South Carroll dropped to 7-2. The two teams combined for 39 turnovers and shot only 42 percent from the field.

But in the mess of errant elbows and missed free throws, it was Gregory, a rather unlikely star coming into the game, who stepped in and had the best game of his career, grabbing 15 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass that led to Howard baskets.

"Brandon did such a great job for us," Dunlap said. "He's got both an inside and outside game he can pull out. It just depends on what Brandon we're getting that day."

Howard was in need of an inside presence in the early going, as South Carroll raced to a 15-5 lead in the first quarter behind 6-foot-6 center Josh Boone. Without Strickland's outside shooting, the Cavaliers had some success early on pounding the ball down low against the Lions' 2-3 zone defense.

But Parrish, with the help of Gregory, wouldn't let it happen. Parrish pulled Howard back in the game, hitting consecutive three-pointers in the second quarter, and then Gregory scored twice on put-backs, helping Howard take a 24-23 lead at halftime.

"I think what hurt us more than anything was that we didn't rebound," said South Carroll coach Jim Carnes. "We've played without [Strickland] before, so I don't think that should have affected us that much. They're just a good team."

Gregory continued where he left off in the third, scoring six straight points to start the second half, and helping hold Boone - who finished with 19 - to only six points after halftime. South Carroll closed to within 50-44 with three minutes left, but Parrish hit another three-pointer late and Gregory added a layup to put the game out of reach for good.

"This was a good game for me, maybe my best ever, but we stepped up as a team," Gregory said. "We did what we had to do. It was a good win."

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