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Mervo's 2nd-quarter burst tops No. 6 Lake Clifton Williams' No. 14 Mustangs solve Lakers, 70-61, for title; John Nash tournament


Herman Harried fondly remembered the the early 1980s when he played for a team coached by Woody Williams that beat a team coached by Bob Wade at the Five-Star summer camp. Harried, a key member of Dunbar's 1982-83 mythical national championship team played against Williams, when he was coach of rival Lake Clifton.

They were again on opposite benches yesterday as Harried, in his first season as coach of Lake Clifton, faced Williams, now coaching at Mervo, in the championship game of the John Nash Holiday Tournament at Douglass.

Williams and the No. 14 Mustangs got the best of Harried's No. 6 Lakers, 70-61, to win the tourney named after the longtime West Baltimore school athletic director who retired in 1995.

Junior guard Marcus Hatten scored 20 points to lead the Mustangs (5-2). Kevin Smith led Lake Clifton with a game-high 23 points.

It was the first victory for Williams over the school he helped to local and national prominence from 1971 to 1987 before leaving to serve as an administrative assistant to Wade, who was the coach of the University of Maryland basketball team from 1986 to 1989.

"You have to build and establish yourself, and get good people with good work habits," said Williams, in his fifth season as coach. "Now it's starting to pay off."

In previous meetings with Lake Clifton, Williams' team were completely overmatched. Again yesterday it didn't bode well for Mervo early, the Mustangs falling behind 8-0 in the first quarter.

But behind the senior nucleus of Hugh Brown, Hatten and Damien Jennifer, the Mustangs overtook Lake Clifton in the second quarter and never trailed, leading by as many as 19 points.

Hatten spearheaded a second-quarter surge by the Mustangs, scoring 12 straight points, capped by back-to-back three-pointers.

Brown, a 6-foot-6 senior center, picked up the pace in third quarter, scoring nine of the Mustangs' first 13 points, including a layup late in the quarter for their largest lead at 55-36.

"We wanted to keep the pace at a slow tempo," said Brown (16 points). "We wanted things to come to us, and run the offense like we were supposed to."

The Mustangs limited Lake Clifton to 24-of-65 shooting and forced 16 turnovers.

"It would have been nice to win, but to coach against him [Williams] was a honor," said Harried. "I've always had and always will have the utmost respect for Coach Williams. He did a great job at Lake Clifton, and he's doing it now."

In the consolation game, Chuckie Harris scored 32 points, leading tourney host and No. 15 Douglass (4-5) to a 94-77 win over Walbrook (1-6). Hubert Thorpe (23 points) led the Warriors.

Pub Date: 12/31/97

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