The Class 2A, Region III game between Southern-AA and Forestville of Prince George's County yesterday was a showcase of the two team's star players -- Chatney Howard for Southern and Oronde Clark of the Knights.
Both players came into the game averaging more than 24 points and 10 rebounds per game.
But Howard's 35 points, 18 rebounds and five assists were not enough to power host Southern, and the No. 1 seed Bulldogs (14-9) dropped a 68-53 decision to No. 4 seed Forestville (14-10).
Southern had a first-round bye while Forestville defeated Damascus of Montgomery County, 81-60, on Monday. The Knights will play Chopticon on Saturday.
Howard, who also had four blocks and four steals, scored 17 points in the first half and went 5-for-7 from the line. But the 6-foot-2 junior forward tired in the second half because of constant double teams and frequent pounding, resulting in his slumping from the line and going 4-for-10.
"He gets that attention every game we play," said Southern coach Tom Albright, whose team didn't have another player in double figures. "What else do you want him to do?"
Clark finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds. Forestville's Joe Lofton added 17 points and 15 rebounds.
The Knights opened with an 8-0 run in the first 2:20. Southern struggled early, missing its first 10 shots, which covered eight possessions. After the Bulldogs scored their first point at 4:11 on Howard's free throw, Southern used an 8-0 spurt over the next two minutes to lead 9-8. But Forestville led 13-11 after the first quarter.
Southern regained the lead at 15-13 when Howard hit a one-handed off-balance shot less than one-minute into the second quarter. The Knights then outscored Southern 8-4 to go ahead 21-19 with 2:50 left. Forestville led 27-24 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Clark took over, scoring 15 points and helping his team take a double-digit lead.
Forestville made it 40-29 with a 13-5 run to start the quarter. Clark then scored his team's next 11 points to put the Knights ahead 51-37 with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter.
Southern closed to 57-49 with 2:32 left, but was outscored 11-4 down the stretch.