Before this season, the vast majority of local teams had nary a clue about what to expect from the upstart Gwynn Lake basketball squad.
Now, nearly a month into the season, they're beginning to find out.
And they're just a little frightened.
In their first year of existence, the 12th-ranked Lakers are playing like one of the area's premier teams, and previously unbeaten Woodlawn was the latest to find out in a 55-43 defeat last night in the opening round of the Western Christmas Tournament.
The Warriors came in at 4-0, fresh off Monday's stunning nine-point victory over No. 4 Arundel. But, they were no match last night for their new neighbor school's blinding speed and pure athletic ability.
"They have good quickness and ball handling," said Woodlawn coach Dave Schreiner. "You have to get them in foul trouble, and we didn't take the ball to the basket in the first half."
Led by guards Quante Toney (19 points) and Jimera Barner (15), and forward Tameka Jackson (14), the Lakers (7-1) made the game a track meet from the opening tip.
They took a 10-2 lead after Jackson's layup with 5: 07 left in the opening quarter and quickly extended it to 26-8 early in the second quarter; by halftime, it was 37-13. Their swarming defense held Woodlawn to 1-for-12 shooting in the final 10 minutes of the half.
The game was over by midway through the second quarter, and the Warriors never knew what hit them. Though they played much better in the second half, led by Sabatha Schools (12 points) and Latia Perry (10), the deficit was too large.
"We dictated the tempo in the first half, and by the second half it was over," said Gwynn Lake coach Ronald Hall, who added that he feels his team is underrated. "Woodlawn just beat Arundel, so this tells you something. I think we're the most non-respected team in the city."
Considering that all but one of the team's players are freshmen or sophomores, he may be right.
Said Toney: "He gathered all of us together from one area, and we pulled together. I know we're the top team in the area."
Western rips IND
No. 14 Western held the Institute of Notre Dame scoreless for the first 5: 26, building a 20-2 first-half lead en route to the easy victory, 67-30.
Marion Moore and Joycia Gorham led the Doves (3-2) with 13 points each, and Gorham also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Carolyn Plakosh paced the Indians (3-6) with nine points.
Mount de Sales victorious
Mount de Sales outscored Edmondson 15-7 in the third quarter to break up a close game and win, 44-31.
Kate O'Connell paced the Sailors (5-3) with 10 points, and Kerri Poisal and Suzanne Smith added six each.
Kenya Langley led the Redskins (2-2) with 10 points.
Pub Date: 12/21/96