It’s early in the chase for the Baltimore City League’s Division I boys’ basketball finals, but City College High threw its hat into a crowded ring Tuesday evening. The eighth-ranked Knights pulled away from No. 10 Lake Clifton for a 54-38 decision on The Alameda.
Junior guard Omari George led all scorers with 18 points for City (10-1 overall), and Timmy Bond provided nine points, six blocked shots, four assists and three rebounds. Stephon Brown finished with 14 points for Lake Clifton (6-3), and senior Cortell Henson added 12.
The Knights held the defending Class 2A state champ Lakers to a field goal in the final quarter to move 3-0 in Division I play, with defending league champ and No. 3 Dunbar (2-0), No. 4 Edmondson (1-0), No. 9 Poly (2-0) and Digital Harbor (3-0) also undefeated in league play. The top two teams in the standings will play for the city title next month.
It’s the farthest thing from Knights’ coach Daryl Wade’s mind. Wade is looking for his young squad to develop consistency after an uneven showing in front of a huge audience.
“I thought we executed well in the first half, we played hard,” said Wade. “The third quarter, early fourth quarter, we got a little lackadaisical. We got a little comfortable, but the defensive intensity was there.”
City’s tight man-to-man flustered Lake Clifton in the opening half, building a 32-19 halftime advantage. The Knights appeared to be in cruise control after George opened the second half with five straight points for a 37-19 lead with six minutes remaining.
“We wanted to come out and get off to a hot start,” said Bond, a long 6-foot-4 wing. “As long as we stayed up on them, they wouldn’t get a lot of shots because we knew they’re a jump shooting team.”
“We knew this was a big rivalry game and just wanted to get after them,” said George.
But the Lakers, making the short five-minute trip from St. Lo Drive, flipped the script. Lake Clifton attacked the Knights’ defense inside and out, closing the third on a 13-3 run to cut the deficit to 40-32.
Lake Clifton was within 44-37 after a free throw by Daquan Ross. The Lakers came up with a defensive stop on City’s end, but was called for traveling.
Bond and George immediately closed the door on Lake Clifton. Bond converted a layup off a feed from sophomore guard Blair Davis, and George converted a three-point play and scored inside. Bond finished another Davis pass with a reverse layup, putting City in the clear at 53-37 with under two minutes remaining.
“City’s length caused us some problems. They played well,” said Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried, whose team fell to 1-2 in Division I. “We fought back. We’re going to be alright because we’re going to keep working.”
The Knights have recommitted defensively after a blowout loss to Prince George’s County powerhouse Eleanor Roosevelt at Old Mill’s Patriot Classic during the holiday break. City travels to No. 17 Forest Park Friday followed with Division I co-leader Digital Harbor Tuesday at home.
“We’re playing for February and March. We would love to be in the city championship [game], but the big picture is the state championship,” said Wade. “We have the potential to do some things, but we got to get better.”
No. 8 City College 54, No. 10 Lake Clifton 38
Lake Clifton – Kess 1, Brown 14, Ross 9, Seward 2, Henson 12. Totals 13 9-16 38
City College – Davis 8, Butler 2, Williams 8, Bond 9, George 18, Juwan Grant 3, John Grant 6. Totals 19 13-21 54.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 09 January 2013 17:15)