Lake Clifton ousts Walbrook, advances to state semifinals

Third-ranked Lakers have no trouble with No. 9 Warriors, 77-50,

4A North boys basketball

High schools

March 03, 2001|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried said Thursday it takes much of the regular season for his team to readjust to his disciplined style after spending the summer playing a more wide-open game in various leagues and camps.

But timing is everything, and Lake Clifton has become a tough out in the postseason. The No. 3 Lakers will again return to the state 4A semifinals after defeating No. 9 Walbrook, 77-50, to claim the 4A North Region championship yesterday at Lake Clifton.

Lake Clifton (20-4) will make its third trip to Cole Field House at the University of Maryland, where it will meet either Oxon Hill or Eleanor Roosevelt of Prince George's County on Thursday at 9 p.m.

Defending state champ Oxon Hill, ranked No. 1 in the Washington area and riding a 36-game winning streak, will play Roosevelt, ranked No. 5 in Washington, in the South Region final at Prince George's Community College tonight at 6. The Lakers defeated Oxon Hill at the buzzer in the 1999 state final.

The Lakers, who dropped a 68-66 decision to Walbrook in the regular-season finale two weeks ago, left little doubt yesterday, building a 15-point halftime advantage and leading by as many as 36 in the second half.

"A lot of guys have been running loose for a while, and when you put them in a structured situation, it takes some time," said Harried, who will be taking the East Baltimore team to its second state final four in his three seasons as coach. "Unfortunately, it takes a little while for them to get it. Thank God, it comes alive in late February and March."

Five players scored in double figures for Lake Clifton, led by 18 from senior guard Aaron Cook. Tavon Nelson chipped in with 17 points and seven rebounds. Steve Woodard led Walbrook (20-6) with 16 points.

The Warriors made a charge at the start of the second half, scoring the first seven points to close to 27-19. The Lakers quickly pushed the advantage back to 13, and Walbrook never seriously threatened again.

"When we first played them, we didn't do a good job taking care of the ball," said senior guard Antonio Regis, who scored 11 points. "This time around, we did a better job and got the ball to our big fellas."

In the early going, Lake Clifton got the ball inside to Nelson, who scored six points, helping the Lakers to a 12-8 lead after one period. They went on a 15-2 run, capped by a rebound and basket by Lashawn Hall to open a 27-10 advantage.

Walbrook, looking to become the seventh team from Baltimore City to reach the state semifinals, watched its hopes crumble under a horrible shooting performance, missing 36 of 57 attempts.

"We took good shots. It just seems it was a lid on the basket," said Walbrook coach Kelvin Bridgers. "We just couldn't find the basket. Lake didn't do any different. We basically made the same adjustments. Tonight they shot the ball really well."

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