Heading into the season, Southern-Baltimore was considered a serious contender for the City East Division title, while City was an afterthought.
But after City's 61-50 victory over the No. 11 Bulldogs yesterday, the teams appear headed in opposite directions.
The victory by the No. 6 Knights (9-2, 2-0) kept them in a tie for first with Dunbar and Lake Clifton, both at 3-0. City's No. 6 ranking is the highest for the basketball program in many years.
The senior tandem of Dominic Fulcher and Ryan Galloway each led the Knights with a game-high 17 points. Todd Galloway and Jermaui Akanbi added 11 each.
Fulcher, a high-flying 6-foot-4 forward, put the final touch on the victory with a baseline dunk as time expired. Fulcher scored 11 points in the final period.
"We're the only Eastside school that nobody really pays attention to," said Fulcher. "If it ain't football, nobody really notices."
The Knights sent a message yesterday against a Southern team that began the season ranked No. 2 in the area and ninth in the East region by USA Today. But the Bulldogs are mired in a three-game losing streak.
Sophomore guard Melvin Scott led Southern (3-5, 1-3) with 12 points and Isaiah Johnson added 11. Johnson was returning from a one-game suspension, stemming from his ejection from last week's 54-38 loss to No. 2 Dunbar.
City built a 48-40 lead with 3: 43 remaining in the game, before Southern fought its way back to 50-48, two minutes later. But the Bulldogs self-destructed.
Down 51-48 with 1: 27 left, Scott and Johnson each forced up ill-advised shots.
"At times, we played undisciplined on the offensive end," said Southern coach Meredith Smith.
The Bulldogs had City reeling early, building a quick 10-2 lead. A dunk by Ryan Galloway started a 12-0 run, giving the Knights a 23-18 advantage. Galloway had five points during the rally.
Ryan Galloway and Fulcher helped City pull away in the fourth quarter. Ryan Galloway hit a tough fadeaway jumper, then Fulcher followed with a 12-foot jumper in the lane, giving the Knights a 45-37 lead with 5: 12 remaining.
"They both stepped up today, they're both seniors and they were with me last year," said fourth-year City coach Daryl Wade. "Ryan has been with me since I've been here, and he knows all the woes we've been through."
Pub Date: 1/13/99