Javis Wiggins' buzzer-beating put-back lifted seventh-ranked Lake Clifton to a 58-57 overtime victory over No. 2 Southern in the Baltimore City East Division opener for both squads last night.
"I was watching the ball the whole time, and when Teoine [Carroll] passed it, and one of our guys [Dale Byrd] missed, I was able to convert," said the 6-foot-6 Wiggins, who finished with 15 points, including 5-for-7 free-throw shooting.
The play, off an inbounds pass from Kenny Purnell with 8.7 seconds left, was intended for the 6-3 Carroll, who scored 25 points.
But having watched his own potential game-winner roll off of the rim in the closing moments of regulation -- which ended in a 52-52 tie -- Carroll took Purnell's pass and beat an oncoming defense with his dish to Byrd (10 points) underneath.
"It was supposed to go to me off the pick, but they were clinging to me when I started driving," said Carroll, who grabbed four of his 12 rebounds in the first period. "Luckily, when our guy missed the shot, Javis got the tap-in to win the game."
Ranked No. 2 in The Sun and No. 9 on the East Coast by USA Today, Southern (1-1, 0-1) had impressed coach Meredith Smith in four preseason scrimmages, including one against defending 3A state champion Friendly, and was coming off a 10-point win over Woodlawn.
However, the Bulldogs -- who led, 57-56, after a shot by DarShawn Lucky with 17.6 seconds left in overtime -- failed to score on three straight possessions while holding the lead in the final 28 seconds of regulation.
And after Lucky's shot, Purnell got the ball up the floor and called a timeout, allowing coach Herman Harried to set up the game-winning play.
"You saw the game. Anyone could have come out of here a winner," said Harried. "That was a fight -- every bit as tough as I expected. Southern is a tough team. They're ranked No. 2, and tonight, they showed why."
Southern was led by Melvin Scott (22 points), who fouled out with 2: 22 left in overtime, 6-7 Isaiah Johnson (16 points, nine rebounds, four blocks) and 6-6 Nathaniel Fields (eight points, nine rebounds).
Overall, however, the night belong to Carroll, who scored eight of Lake Clifton's first 12 points in the first quarter, after which the Lakers led, 14-11, and all of the Lakers' seven points in the third period, after which Southern led, 43-40.
No. 4 Roland Park 48, No. 9 John Carroll 45: The host Reds dTC rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit and got a game-high 19 points from Betsy Gaines.
Pub Date: 12/16/98