Walbrook gets even against Lake Clifton

Draper scores 17, takes control for Warriors, 56-46

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 05, 2002|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Though played in the early stages of the second half of the season, Walbrook's Baltimore City league matchup against No. 7 Lake Clifton last night could've been viewed as a litmus test. In their previous two meetings against a ranked team, the No. 5 Warriors came up short and Lake Clifton handed them a resounding defeat in the Class 4A North Regional final last winter.

Walbrook gained a measure of revenge and some confidence, beating the visiting Lakers, 56-46. While the Warriors and Lake Clifton (7-4) appear to be the class of the 4A North region, Walbrook coach Kelvin Bridges said his team still needs some fine-tuning before making a serious playoff charge.

"Right now, we got the playoff picture in the back of our minds," said Bridges, whose team improved to 8-2. "...We're going to take it piece-by-piece. I just think we got to do better in terms of decision-making to become a true playoff team."

Opening with 14 straight points and with an 11-point cushion in the third quarter, the Warriors needed a fourth-quarter surge to fend off the Lakers. Donte Draper led Walbrook with 17 points and senior forward Jamal Booker added 14 and six rebounds.

Draper, a 5-foot-11 senior point guard, took command for Walbrook after its lead dwindled to 37-36 at the start of the fourth quarter.

"We had to control the game," said Draper, who added eight steals and six assists. "We didn't want to lose the lead, and I had to keep the team in control."

Draper drove to the basket and threw a pass behind a Lake Clifton defender to Devin Cornick for a layup, then followed with a short jumper that extended Walbrook's lead to 41-36. The Lakers pulled within 41-38, but Draper converted three of four free throws for a 44-38 lead that widened to 50-40 with 1:52 remaining.

"He did his job and I expected nothing less than that from Draper," said Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried, who was without injured starters Tavon Nelson (ankle) and Dashawn Grade (thigh). "He got quiet for awhile, but he did what he supposed to do, step up and take control and that's what he did."

Cleveland DeShields led Lake Clifton with 15 points and Damon Wilder added 13 and five rebounds.

Draper was a reason Walbrook was the area's No. 1-ranked team for two weeks before losing at home to then-No. 2 Douglass, 69-68.

"They were a good team and played hard," Draper said. "We just were able to keep the lead. We never let them get up at anytime during the game."

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