15-year drought over for Woodlawn

Carr's buzzer-beater sinks Lake Clifton, 53-51, in North regional final

Class 4A boys basketball

High Schools

March 07, 2004|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Fifteen years of frustration ended for Woodlawn last night on Brandon Carr's tip-in at the buzzer, which lifted the No. 9 Warriors past No. 8 Lake Clifton, 53-51, for the Class 4A North regional title.

For the first time since 1989, Woodlawn is headed to the state final four. The Warriors will meet 4A West regional champion Springbrook of Montgomery County at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Comcast Center in College Park.

In the final seconds, Warriors senior point guard Jordan Brown attempted a driving layup, and the ball bounced free. Carr, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, got his right hand on the ball and sent it to the basket. The ball went in and Carr was mobbed by teammates and fans in celebration.

"I just closed my eyes and threw it up there. Next thing I know, it went in," said Carr, who had eight points and five rebounds. "I was just fighting for the ball; I didn't want to go home."

Lance Fuller had a game-high 20 points and Jordan Brown added 10 rebounds and seven assists for Woodlawn (21-3). Senior guard Chester Frazier led Lake Clifton (19-5) with 16 points and had six rebounds, and Parris Carter had 12.

The Lakers tied the score at 51 on two free throws by Donta Ridley with 1:16 remaining in regulation. The Warriors burned their final two timeouts to ensure they would have the last shot in regulation.

"We couldn't play Chester [Frazier] and Parris [Carter] man-to-man. Once we got the ball, we called a timeout with 58 seconds left and said we can't let them get the ball back," said Woodlawn coach Eddie Green. "Fortunately, we didn't turn the ball over, and we got the lucky tip-in."

Woodlawn had a 46-42 advantage with 5:17 left before the Lakers went on a 7-0 run, capped by a floater in the lane by Carter, to put them ahead 49-46 with 3:54 left. The Warriors responded with a basket by Jason Goode and three free throws by Fuller for a 51-49 lead with 1:37 left. Green believed the Warriors' nonleague games with Archbishop Spalding, National Christian and Magruder has paid off in the postseason.

"If we didn't play those tough teams, we wouldn't be here," Carr said.

Woodlawn has won 17 straight, including victories over the city's best in No. 5 Walbrook and Lake Clifton to close out the region.

"Those games got us ready for situations like tonight," said Green. "When it got tough, where my other teams folded, this team stepped up."

"My young men played well against all odds," said Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried. "I think Woodlawn played well. We went to the end. In a situation like that, the time could've expired, but you never know, I've won some like that and lost some."

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