Clifton beats Mervo at OT buzzer

Carter's half-court shot gives fifth-ranked Lakers the region crown, 46-45

Class 4A North boys basketball

High Schools

March 08, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Paris Carter's buzzer-beating three-pointer - which banked in from half court - lifted fifth-ranked Lake Clifton over No. 7 Mervo, 46-45, in yesterday's Class 4A North regional final.

Before a crowd of nearly 1,000, the host Lakers (20-4) earned their 12th straight victory and a return trip to the 4A state boys basketball semifinals at the Comcast Center in College Park. They will play Oxon Hill, a 53-40 winner over Eleanor Roosevelt in the 4A South final, at 9 p.m. Thursday.

The shot was poetic justice for Carter, whose foul gave Mervo's Chester Frazier two free throws that lifted the Mustangs (18-6) to a 45-43 lead with three seconds left in overtime.

The game-ending sequence started with three seconds to play with Derrick Haynes, whose previous inbounds pass hit the ceiling with four seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 41-41. On his second try, Haynes found Dantae Ridley (10 points), who then passed to Carter.

"I didn't even look at the clock or anything," said Carter, who beat two defenders with his release. "Coach told us he thought we still had a chance to win, so I just turned and shot the ball."

"We didn't give him a good shot," said Mervo coach Daryl Wade. "That was a Hail Mary that just went in. He just made a heck of a shot."

Carter's previous three-pointer brought the Lakers within 36-35 with 1:55 left in regulation, and his second pair of free throws gave his team a 37-36 advantage with 59 seconds left. He scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, including 6-for-7 free-throw shooting.

With the Mustangs down by three, however, their best shooter, Joe Marshall (10 points), sank an off-balance three-pointer that tied the score at 41 with four seconds left and sent the game into overtime.

"They're a great team, a well-coached team, and this was a tough, tough game," said Lakers coach Herman Harried. "I've been telling Paris all year that, because he's played so well, he's drawn attention to himself. He didn't have an easy night, but he was patient and he came through in the end."

On Feb. 25, Tavon Nelson took a full-court pass from Haynes and scored in the final two seconds to clinch Lake Clifton's Baltimore City title victory over Douglass, 52-49. Yesterday's finish was also reminiscent of the Lakers' 1999 state championship victory over Oxon Hill, won at the buzzer on a put-back by Teione Carroll.

"We watched films of that game," Carter said of the '99 state title win. "It was a lot like that tonight."

Lake Clifton led 18-12 during a posturing first half marked by ball-controlled offenses and missed opportunities.

Down 7-4 in the first quarter, the Lakers used an 8-0 run to take a 12-7 lead midway through the second quarter. The Mustangs pulled to within 12-10 after a three-pointer by Paul Frazier, but Lake Clifton outscored Mervo 6-2 over the rest of the half - capped by a three-pointer from Haynes.

Mervo's 6-foot-6 Antwon Lawrence scored eight of his team-high 14 points in the third quarter, grabbing four of his 11 rebounds in a period that ended in a 24-24 tie.

M-P. Frazier 9, C. Frazier 7, Marshall 10, Lawrence 16, Williams 3. Totals: 16 8-12 45 LC-Nelson 11, Carter 14, Haynes 7, Wilder 4, Ridley 10. Totals: 16 11-13 46. Half: LC, 18-12.

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