Underdog Bulldogs show bite, adding Douglass to Unseld list

Southern caps hat trick, edging No. 2 in final, 75-63

High Schools

Boys basketball

December 30, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Southern of Baltimore was the lowest-rated of the four ranked teams that entered the three-day Wes Unseld Classic. But the Bulldogs, who moved up from No. 14 to No. 11 this week, accepted the challenge.

Last night at CCBC-Catonsville, the underdogs proved worthy of the task, completing a hat trick of triumphs with a 75-63 championship rout of second-ranked, Baltimore City League rival Douglass.

Junior guard Reginold Holmes (23 points) earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors after going 8-for-9 from the line and making three three-pointers in the first period.

He was joined on the all-tournament squad by junior backcourt mate Nicholas Woodward (15 points), who was 6-for-6 at the line as Southern improved to 8-0.

Southern's DeShawn Williams scored nine of his 14 points in the first half, and Jerrell Green scored 12 for the Bulldogs (5-2), who were 18-for-21 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

"We've been hearing around town that we're soft," said Woodward. "But tonight, we showed everyone how we're going to bring it every game."

Southern signaled its intentions on Friday. That's when the Bulldogs, whose tallest players other than 6-foot-8 center Brandon Moore are 6-3, overcame a taller, more athletic team in then-No. 13 Randallstown (4-2), winner of the two previous Unseld crowns.

And in Saturday's semifinal action, Southern emerged victorious from a battle of unbeaten teams over ninth-ranked, city rival Dunbar.

"We played probably three of the tougher teams in the area, and Douglass is one of the best, if not the best team in town," said Mike Wise, in his second year since replacing longtime Southern coach Meredith Smith. " ... The size of the man isn't a measure of the size of his heart, and this team plays with a lot of heart."

Down 7-4, Southern scored the next 13 points for a 17-7 lead. It led 24-15 entering the second period, thanks to the fast break and 11 first-quarter points from Holmes.

"We wanted to build a big lead that would have an effect on them," said Holmes. "And when my teammates passed me the ball, I was feeling it and just knocking them down."

The Ducks regained a 29-28 lead 30 seconds before the intermission after a jumper by Tre Love (15 points) completed a 14-4 run comprised of balanced scoring from Troy Smith (18 points), Darryl Clarke (10) and Charles Connelly.

But Southern answered with a scoring burst of its own, closing with Woodward's buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 35-31 halftime lead. The Bulldogs led by as much as 10 points during the third quarter and were up 51-43 entering the fourth.

"When I wasn't hitting, my teammates were, so we were able to pull away again when they got close," said Holmes, whose three-point play made it 56-43 with 6:30 left.

"We missed a lot of layups and you can't win when you do that," said Douglass coach Rodney Coffield. "They beat us because they were better than us tonight."

Smith and Ducks teammate Jermaine Bolden were named to the all-tournament team, with Dunbar's Barry Jenifer and Northwestern's Patrick Seymore.

No. 9 Dunbar 58, Northwestern 55: Camontae Griffin hit six of eight free throws down the stretch as the Poets (4-1) overcame an 11-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to earn third place in the Unseld Classic.

Despite getting 10 of Byron Roundtree's 15 points in the first quarter, Dunbar, a loser to No. 11 Southern on Saturday, trailed 13-12 entering the second period. The Poets regained a 29-26 lead for halftime, and got nine second-half points from Craig Singletary (13 points).

Scoring in double figures for the Wildcats (1-4) were Kelvin Greenleaf (14 points) and Demetrius Phillips (11). Northwestern was coming off Saturday's semifinal loss to No. 2 Douglass.

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