Carl Jackson's Wilde Lake teammates call him "Baby Shaq," and last night he showed Hammond why.
Jackson, a 6-foot-7, 250-pound sophomore, dominated the game inside and led the visiting Wildecats to a 62-57 Howard County league victory.
The loss dropped Hammond (6-8, 4-3) out of a four-way tie for first place with Wilde Lake, Atholton and Mount Hebron.
"It was a physical game underneath and we just couldn't stay with them," Hammond coach Jack Burke said. "Jackson played a strong game.'"
"Sule [Carpenter] and I are the two biggest men in the county and we came to play our game tonight. It was real physical. Elbows were flying," Jackson said.
Jackson (18 points) was helped tremendously on the boards by Carpenter, who who kept the ball alive with tips that often went to Jackson. Carpenter (11 points) also scored several layups off rebounds.
"My inside people played well tonight and that made the difference," Wilde Lake coach Paul Ellis said.
Wilde Lake (7-7, 5-2) also received another big scoring night from Seth Willingham, the Wildecats leading scorer. Willingham (28 points) sank two free throws with two seconds left to clinch it for the Wildecats.
He also scored a layup with 58 seconds left that gave Wilde Lake a 60-57 lead.
Hammond was hurt by poor shooting in the second half. The Bears were 8-for-27 from the field and scored only 18 second-half points after a 39-point first half.
Hammond's Charles Chapman missed a layup set up by a nice pass from Phillip Mackey with 25 seconds left and the Bears behind 60-57.
Wilde Lake was called for a five-second violation on an in-bounds play giving the Bears another chance, but Irving Conwell missed a three-point shot and Chapman missed a follow-up layup.
Willingham then was fouled under Hammond's basket with two seconds left.
Wilde Lake went to Jackson early in the game. Jackson sank two baskets from the low post and made a three-point play in the lane giving Wilde Lake a 7-4 lead.
"I've been posting well lately,' Jackson said. "It was just there for me. I had my guy pinned most of the time.'"
Hammond quickly took control with some hot shooting, however. The Bears shot 10-for-17 from the field in the first quarter and led, 23-20.