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Rivals finding Boys' Latin basketball more difficult to hold down

Lakers start season on a roll, lead MIAA B Conference

By Tom Worgo, tworgo@tribune.com

10:38 AM EST, January 8, 2013

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Terrific balance allows Boys' Latin to sit atop the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference with a perfect 6-0 record, according to BL coach Cliff Rees.

Scoring is the overwhelming strength of the team.

"You look at our starting lineup, and I kind of laugh sometimes," Rees said. "It's kind of hard going into a game not knowing who is going to be the guy that night. I have five guys basically averaging in double figures."

The Lakers are that good after suffering through a long string of losing seasons.

"It's certainly been a long time," said Rees, whose team is 11-3 overall after going 11-15 in his first season last winter. "It feels good. You hope you can hang on and stay there, but it's not an easy task."

With such a stacked lineup, the Lakers are, at the very least, a serious title contender.

With 6-foot-3 shooting guard Colin Heacock (averaging 12.3 points and 5 assists per game) and fellow senior Casey (15, 3) Rees, a 6-foot-2 point guard and the coach's son, back in the fold, the Lakers have a formidable one-two punch.

They've been joined in the lineup by two transfers, senior forward Brendan Fields, from the state of Washington, and junior guard Jordan Brooks (Archbishop Spalding).

Junior varsity promotion, sophomore forward Blair Brooks, is the other newcomer.

"That's a lot of weapons," Cliff Rees said. "That's a big challenge for teams trying to defend us. Having the athleticism that we have is a huge plus. We haven't had it. It's enable us to play a lot faster."

Beating McDonogh School, 64-63, on November 30 ranks among the season's highlights.

"I would say its rare," Rees said of a win over an MIAA A Conference opponent. "It's my second year and I had been following them for four or five years prior to that, and they certainly haven't done it."

Boys' Latin also upended defending B Conference champion Gilman, 73-60, in Roland Park on Dec. 18 behind the Brooks' 22 points.

"We haven't beaten Gilman forever," said Rees, noting his team's three and six-point losses to the Greyhounds last season.

So was the 71-61 triumph Jan. 4 over visiting St. Vincent Pallotti, ranked No. 10 in the area by the Baltimore Sun.

The Panthers finished as the conference runner-up last year and were considered a favorite to nab the conference crown in 2013.

"It was such a great win for us," Rees said. "A team that can beat (A Conference teams) Mt. St. Joe and Mt. Carmel on back-to-back nights. That's a real good team. Pallotti is very athletic. They have the shooters and scorers."

Casey Rees scored a season-29 points against Pallotti after totaling 27 points in a loss to Wicomico High, of Salisbury, on Dec. 29 in the Governor's Challenge Tournament.

Rees shot 10-for-14 from the field and made eight of 11 free throws against the Panthers.

"He's been really stepping up and getting points when we have needed them," Cliff Rees said.

Fields and Brooks added 14 points apiece to stop Pallotti.

The coach said he hopes to have that type of production again from Fields, Brooks and his son when the Lakers travel to Laurel for on Feb. 5 for the rematch with Pallotti (13-4).