When the postseason gets into full swing next week, Walbrook coach Gus Herrington will be watching from an unfamiliar place.
For the first time since becoming coach in 1984-85, Herrington and his Warriors will not be involved in postseason play after losing their regular-season finale yesterday to No. 1 Southern-Baltimore, 85-71, in a Baltimore City 4A League game.
Senior shooting guard Kevin Simpson scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half for Southern. Dante Williams added 15, eight rebounds and six blocked shots.
The Bulldogs (19-1, 11-1), ranked No. 4 in this week's USA Today Super 25, clinched the top seed in the state 4A North regional playoffs. Southern will play an opponent to be determined next week at UMBC, where it will begin its quest for a second straight state championship.
It was only a season ago that the Warriors (9-11, 7-5) had the top seed in the 3A regional playoffs with an 18-2 record.
Yesterday, they completed their first losing season under Herrington.
"Hopefully, we learned something from it," said Herrington. "The majority of the team will be back next year, but we are going to have to make some changes. We can't continue to do it the way it was done this year."
Antwon Jenifer led the Warriors with a game-high 25 points and Travone Broadway and Chris Reynolds added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Herrington said yesterday's defeat was indicative of Walbrook's season.
Despite having only six players in uniform at the start of the
game, the Warriors built a 10-point halftime lead against the Bulldogs, who beat them, 81-46, on Feb. 7.
Southern had four starters on the bench -- Kevin Simpson, Alphonso Hawes, Damon Cason and Dancavtis Keating -- for the first period as coach Meredith Smith sat them for missing practice Wednesday.
With the Bulldogs' regulars back in the game, Walbrook began to tire and Southern aggressively gained control at the start of the final quarter. Trailing 55-54, the Bulldogs scored the first six to take a 60-55 lead with 7:01 remaining.
Leading 70-65, Southern scored the next seven, getting a three-pointer from Marlon Wise, a dunk by Simpson and a layup by Hawes, extending its lead to 77-65 with 2:30 left.
"We had to get a feel of the game," said Simpson, who had six rebounds. "We weren't surprised at how they played because coming here, we knew it would be tough."
As was Walbrook's scenario to qualify for the playoffs.
With Walbrook's loss yesterday, Edmondson secured the sixth spot to join Southern, Lake Clifton, Perry Hall, Woodlawn and Southwestern in the North regionals.
"This is the first year that Walbrook hasn't made the playoffs and you hate to break the tradition," said junior swingman Travone Broadway. "Hopefully, this will gives us something to work harder for next year."