Southern sets its tempo, routs Towson Catholic

There's bad news for Southern High basketball opponents. The second-ranked Bulldogs have won their two games against top-20 teams this season by margins of 36 and 25 points, and coach Meredith Smith said they are going to get better.

No. 6 Towson Catholic couldn't match up yesterday with the Bulldogs' quickness or size, as Southern raced to a 78-53 win in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference Division II game.


"I thought there was some improvement," said Smith, who wasn't satisfied with his team's season-opening 83-47 victory over Calvert Hall on Friday. "We still had some lapses on offense and some on defense. Overall, there was some improvement, and that's what we look for from game to game. We have to be happy, but we're not satisfied. We want to be the best we can be."

The Bulldogs (2-0, 2-0) dominated the Owls (4-2, 0-1), who turned in a solid performance against the country's No. 3 team Simon Gratz on Friday in a 46-40 loss.


What's scary for Southern opponents is that the Bulldogs did it with just two points from Abdul Brown, a junior 6-foot-8 center.

Senior guards Kwame Evans and Derrick Watkins scored 26 and 20 points, respectively, to lead the Bulldogs. Sophomore point guard Damon Cason started slowly but finished with 16; sophomore guard Kevin Simpson had 12.

After taking a 9-2 lead, Southern led by 16-13 at the end of the first quarter, then used a 16-0 run to start the second period and build a 32-13 lead.

The Bulldogs hit six of nine shots during that run but missed their last 10 shots, as Towson Catholic drew within 32-22 but never got closer.

Southern limited Towson Catholic's big scorer, senior center Tony Bishop to five points in the first half, although he finished with 18.

More importantly Southern kept point guard Sidney Johnson (five points) off balance with constant defensive pressure. Johnson played a key role in the Gratz game, keeping the contest at a slow tempo in Towson Catholic's favor. Yesterday Towson Catholic turned the ball over 17 times and made 21 of 57 field-goal attempts.

"Gratz let them control the tempo," said Watkins, who had three dunks. "We weren't going to let them control the tempo of our game."

Maybe Smith does have a point. Southern didn't shoot all that well, particularly from three-point range. Overall, the Bulldogs were 32 of 72 and seven of 26 on three-point attempts. They turned the ball over just five times.


"We need to execute more and sharpen up more when we get a big lead and keep control of the tempo of the game," said Evans.

In other words, they will get better.