Southwestern slips past Douglass No. 1 Sabers hold off rivals to claim 68-63 victory; Boys basketball


Many of the players for Douglass and Southwestern are familiar with each other from playing at Druid Hill Park during the past summer. Southwestern coach Terry Leverette knew that the Ducks would present his top-ranked team with a lot of problems going into yesterday's contest at Southwestern.

Each time the Sabers appeared ready to pull away, No. 14 Douglass came right back, gaining an opportunity to tie in closing moments. But the Ducks couldn't capitalize, and Southwestern escaped with a 68-63 victory to gain sole possession of first place in the City's West Division.

"They matchup with us very well, and they have four guys who can shoot the three," said Leverette. "We are not better than anybody else, we have to work harder than most teams."

Robert Gray led Southwestern (16-0, 4-0) with 15 points, and Cornelius McMurray and Dion Smith each added 14. Charles Harris led all scorers with 29 points for Douglass (10-4, 3-1).

The Ducks trailed, 66-63, with under 20 seconds remaining in regulation when Harris miss a three-point attempt, but regained the ball with the alternate possession with 14.3 seconds left as Joe Ison tied up Southwestern's Dion Smith.

Ison (17 points) missed a three-point shot from the corner with 6.2 seconds and Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Smith converted both one-and-one free throws with 3.1 seconds left for the final margin.

"We came out here with a lot of confidence, playing the No. 1 team in the area," said Douglass coach Rodney Cofield. "The kids did a good job executing on offense, but we didn't do it down the stretch."

Mount St. Joseph 84, Aberdeen 72: The 17th-ranked Gaels led almost from start to finish and produced their biggest lead as their final margin in a home upset of the No. 11 Rams (14-2). Senior guard Cory McNeill led Mount St. Joe (18-7) with 20 points and sophomore center Sean Johnson added 19 more. The loss ended an eight-game Aberdeen win streak.

Edmondson 72, Poly 69: Virgil Singleton scored 40 points as visiting Edmondson downed Poly. Singleton hit four three-pointers, made 12 of 14 free throws and accounted for 12 of the Redskins' 20 field goals.

Pub Date: 2/05/97

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