In the basketball function at the Junction last night, a freshman outclassed his elders.
Lake Clifton's 5-foot-5 whippet, Shawnta Rogers, stole the show with 38 points and, because of him, the Lakers held their poise through crunch time.
The result was a 79-72 upset of Walbrook, the No. 3-ranked team in The Baltimore Sun high school poll.
"I think they had something more to prove," said Gus Herrington, the Warriors coach. "They've been overlooked some, and Lake Clifton always has to be considered when you talk Baltimore high school basketball."
"It's tremendous to win one at the Junction," added Charlie Moore, the Lakers coach. "This is a very big one for the program."
Walbrook had superior size, the home court, and was listed three places higher in the poll than the Lakers, who were underrated despite a scoring average of nearly 100 points a game.
Things appeared to be going formfully when the Warriors overcame a 28-point first-half show by Rogers and pulled into a 52-42 lead with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter.
But Rogers got the sixth-ranked Lakers moving again with a jumper and they steadily whittled away as Walbrook undermined itself in an overflowing gym.
"We missed free throws and layups. That's been hurting us all year," lamented Herrington. "We couldn't hold a 10-point lead. It's something the kids have to learn to do."
Neither team could get ahead by more than three points during most of the fourth quarter, but three free throws by Rogers sent Lake Clifton on a 7-0 run that won the game.
When the Warriors ganged up on Rogers, he unloaded the ball to his big man, Terrance Payne, who hit three key points in the run.
Walbrook (8-2), which had lost previously only to nationally ranked Simon Gratz of Philadelphia, was then forced to foul and never got closer than five in the final minute.
"He's only a freshman," Moore said of Rogers. "He's just learning the game of basketball. He'll improve. Actually, the whole team stayed under good control and that made the difference."
Lake Clifton continued to play giant-killer. The Lakers knocked No. 5 Southwestern out of the unbeaten ranks earlier this week, 78-67.