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No. 2 Southern, No. 3 Lake Clifton roll in mixer


Don't blame Potomac if it's beginning to get tired of playing Baltimore teams.

Last night, Potomac, ranked No. 5 in the Washington area, lost to Lake Clifton, ranked third in the Baltimore area, 83-59, in the second game of the Function in the Junction Mixer at the Coppin Center.

In another game, No. 2 Southern-Baltimore extended the state's longest winning streak to 17, routing Largo of Prince George's County, 82-60. No. 1 Dunbar played No. 8 Walbrook, later last night.

Junior forward Reggie Frazier led all scorers with 23 points for the Lakers. Senior center Terrance Payne had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Shawnta Rogers scored 18.

Senior shooting guard Matt Brown led Potomac with 14 points. William "Dink" Peters added 11 and Chris Johnson and Patrick Williams had 10 each.

Last season, the Braves (2-2) lost to Southern in the Class 3A state championship game. On Dec. 7, Southwestern, ranked No. 5 in the Baltimore area, edged them, 56-55.

"The Lakers are a pretty good team and Southwestern has an outstanding team," said Potomac coach Taft Hickman, whose team has been to the last two state 3A title games. "We know what kind of competition we're facing. Our guard play was good, but their guard play was excellent."

Last night's game was billed as matchup between the 6-foot-7 Payne, who's heading to Xavier and the 6-8, 290-pound Peters, who is the Washington area's top player.

But the matchup didn't begin to take shape until 4:11 was left the first half as Payne, who didn't start because of "personal reasons," entered the game.

Payne and his teammates held their own on the boards, but it was their relentless defensive pressure that was the difference. And Rogers was a big part of that with five steals.

After leading by as many 16, the Braves closed the gap to 53-43, but the 5-5 junior guard came right back for the Lakers with a layup. Then after a Potomac miss, Rogers buried a jumper with a second left in the third quarter.

"Last week, we didn't go inside enough," said Rogers, referring to last Saturday's 81-66 loss to Southern. "We looked inside today and it opened up a lot of things for us."

In yesterday's opening game, Southern (3-0) continued to play at mid-season form, handling Largo, in a matchup of two of last season's four state champions.

Senior shooting guard Kevin Simpson scored 24 points and had eight rebounds. Damon Cason added 24 and six assists, and senior forward Dante Williams had 11 points and seven rebounds.

"At this point of the season, they have probably have passed expectations a little bit," said Southern coach Meredith Smith. "That probably has a lot to do with experience factor. We have a lot of veterans who bring that experience."

Next up for the Bulldogs is No. 1 Dunbar, in tonight's 8 o'clock finale at the Coppin Center.

Last weekend, Southern was impressive at the Lake Clifton Mixer, defeating Mervo, 113-52, and Lake Clifton, 81-66.

Yesterday, the Bulldogs built a 17-point halftime advantage against the Lions (0-3) and were never threatened.

After Southern jumped out to a 6-0 lead, the Lions climbed back to within 17-15 at the end of the first quarter, but nine Largo turnovers resulted in 12 Southern points during a 22-6 run that extended its lead to 39-21.

"We're a little surprised by how things have gone," said Simpson. "Everybody is just playing hard and we're doing it as a team. We just wanted to win."

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