Balanced, pressing Oxon Hill takes down Lake Clifton, 71-58

Class 4A boys basketball

High School

March 14, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Oxon Hill used balanced scoring, created points from turnovers with pressure defense, and scored the first 12 points in the final quarter of a runaway, 71-58 victory over fourth-ranked Lake Clifton in last night's Class 4A state semifinal at Comcast Center.

"We just didn't do a good job taking care of the ball," said Lakers coach Herman Harried. "[But] we've accomplished a lot. We were Baltimore City champs, regional champs, and a lot of teams can't say that. Of course, I'm not happy, but I'm very proud of our young men."

DeMario Anderson (16 points), Frank Gerald (14), Carlton Williams (13), Chris Pugh (11) and Rashuad Nixon (10) led the Clippers (21-3), who scored 30 points in the final period after leading by a point at halftime, 25-24.

Oxon Hill earned a berth in tomorrow's 8 p.m. title game against Magruder (22-3) of Montgomery County. Magruder defeated 10th-ranked Glen Burnie (19-6) of Anne Arundel County, 67-63.

The victory ended a 12-game winning streak by the Lakers and avenged a buzzer-beating title-game loss to Lake Clifton (20-5) in 1999.

"We didn't play particularly well in the first half," said Oxon Hill coach Billy Lanier. "That's a good basketball team there [Lake Clifton]."

Lake Clifton started out quickly last night, with Donta Ridley scoring 10 of the Lakers' first 12 points as they built 8-2 and 10-6 leads. Ridley, who would score 14 points, also had four rebounds and a steal in the period.

But the Clippers mounted a 13-2 run to take a 19-14 lead into the second quarter. Six of the pressing Clippers' points came off steals.

Ranked third in the Washington area, Oxon Hill entered the game with a perceived advantage, having played its home games on the college-size floor of the Run N' Shoot Fitness Center in District Heights while its gymnasium is renovated.

But any extra stamina wasn't evident in the second period, as the Lakers, who got seven second-quarter rebounds from Tavon Nelson (he finished with 15), tied the score at 21 three minutes before halftime on a three-pointer by Damian Wilder and a layup off a steal by Paris Carter, who scored 15 points on the night.

LC-Haynes 3, Garrison 2, Carter 15, Ridley 14, Nelson 9, Wilder 9, Mason 4. Totals 23 2-2 58. OH-Pugh 11, Gill 2, Anderson 16, Nixon 10, Gerald 14, Williams 13, Robinson 3, Corbin 1. Totals 27 20-29 71. Half: OH, 25-24.

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