Jamal Barney had no trouble scoring and his frontcourt trio retrieved most of the rebounds as host and No. 4 Southwestern roared past No. 11 Mervo, 75-54, in Baltimore City boys basketball last night.
"After losing to Walbrook [72-68] early in the season, we have matured a lot as a team," Southwestern coach Terry Leverett said.
"That was a little rough and we had too many mental lapses, but we haven't had them for a long time. We could get another shot at Walbrook in the city championship game because they lead their division and we lead ours."
There won't be any region final between the two this season since Walbrook, which won the Class 4A title last season, is now in 3A East. Southwestern, which could be in its final year if Baltimore city closes the school as proposed, remains in 4A North.
Barney, the metro area's leading scorer, went two over his average to pace the Sabers (10-2) with a game-high 30 points. The 6-foot-3 swing-guard, who also had two rebounds and four first-half steals, scored off his dribble, pull-up jumpers, layups, backdoor throw-ins, a pair of one-handed dunks and a third dunk. He also had four of his team's five three-pointers.
"We're a family when it comes to scoring and we know those three up front are going to get the rebounds," said Barney, who was All-Metro as a junior last season and is headed to Providence. He led a team shooting effort of 57 percent (30-for-53).
The Sabers' senior trio of 6-8 Wayne Dorsey (16 points) and the 6-6 duo of Juawan Rheubottom (13 points) and Travis Debreaux (seven points) combined for 30 rebounds. Southwestern had a 36-24 rebounding advantage.
"I'm the main rebounder, and Wayne and Rheubottom follow up," Debreaux said.
Senior guards Walter Sanders and Adam Harris played well for Mervo (11-3), scoring 17 and 14 points, respectively. Sanders also had seven rebounds and John Williams added 11 points.