This Cason would like to keep Southern rolling along beside Dunbar


There's just one more trip, and it's a relatively short one, that David Cason would like to take.

Southern's senior point guard has traveled -- as part of school, AAU and Project Survival teams -- to South Carolina, Norfolk, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Arkansas and even Odessa in the Soviet Union.

Now, Cason would like to go to the Baltimore Arena next Sunday to play in the Metro Classic. First, though, No. 3 Southern (16-5) must get past No. 10 Mount St. Joseph (21-10) tomorrow at 6 at Morgan State. In the other MSA A Conference semifinal, top-ranked Dunbar (25-1) plays No. 4 Lake Clifton (14-5) at 8 p.m.

The Bulldogs would love another shot at Dunbar, which beat them in yesterday's Baltimore City Public Schools championship game, 59-55. Cason and his teammates gave the Poets something to think about, which they failed to do in January's 81-47 loss to Dunbar.

"We've got one more thing we want to accomplish," Cason said. "They know we're coming."

Southern made its point yesterday and Cason, an Evening Sun All-Metro first-team selection last year, has been making his points (13 per game), assists (13.5) and steals (4) all season.

"He's magnificent this year," said Southern coach Meredith Smith. "A true point guard is a rarity, because kids simply want to score. He's a very unselfish ballplayer. He runs the offense and he scores. He's a true point guard . . . He gives us tremendous leadership. I think the other kids realize that, too. He's so knowledgeable about the game."

Towson State, Northeastern, George Washington and Maryland must agree, because those are the schools most seriously recruiting the 6-foot, 155-pound Cason. He still needs to attain the 700 minimum score on the SATs, but has close to an 80 average in mostly college prep courses, Smith said.

His unselfishness is evident when Cason says his biggest thrill comes, "When our guys get dunks. That gets me aroused because I know that now they're pumped up and in it."

A reputation for selflessness can provide shelter for some players when things aren't going right for them, but not Cason. This kid has guts. With Southern trailing by two in the championship game at last year's Norfolk Catholic Christmas tournament, Smith recalled, "He hadn't scored a point all game and hit a three-pointer with a few seconds left" to win it.

And this season against Annapolis, "There were a couple seconds left on the clock and we were down three," said Cason. "I hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to go into overtime." The Bulldogs eventually lost, but it showed Cason that "we're a poised team. We keep our composure and when we're down, we fight back."

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