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No. 6 Digital Harbor shakes off struggles

The Baltimore Sun

Judging by the Digital Harbor boys basketball team's first six quarters in the 12th annual Basketball Academy, it didn't seem as if their participation in the mixer would be a big success.

The team lost to unranked Parkville on Thursday and was held to 12 points in the first half against New Town yesterday at Morgan State.

Going into the second half, the Rams re-established what earned them their No. 6 ranking - playing tough defense and getting the ball into the hands of George and Justin Jackson.

It worked. Digital Harbor defeated the Titans, 55-53, in overtime.

"Justin made some big shots and George sealed it off with free throws," Rams coach Johnnie Grimes said.

Digital Harbor (8-3) was down 32-15 early in the third quarter before George Jackson started attacking the New Town defense, while Justin Jackson, who had 11 points in the third quarter, got hot shooting the ball.

The Rams went on a 22-3 run over eight minutes in the third and fourth quarters to get back in the game.

In the fourth quarter, the Titans (5-4) double-teamed George Jackson - to no avail. The junior point guard split the double coverage at will, driving through the lane and dumping off passes for assists, or getting fouled and getting to the free-throw line.

George Jackson went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in overtime, had a game-high 20 points and added four assists in the fourth quarter and overtime.

No. 8 Mervo didn't get its best performance in yesterday's game against Dunbar of D.C., but the team didn't really need it.

Thanks to a 29-point third quarter, the Mustangs cruised to a 74-58 victory.

"I think we could play a little better," Mervo coach Daryl Wade said. "We played a little better ball in the third quarter and played our game. We were able to open up the game a little bit."

Mervo (9-2) was led by forward Tyrone Smoothers, who had a game-high 17 points, but it was a team effort. Six players scored at least eight points.

No. 3 Lake Clifton escaped with a 48-44 win over Riverside Baptist of Prince George's County in a game in which neither team led by more than seven points.

With the Lakers (10-1) clinging to a two-point lead with eight seconds left, senior point guard Derrious Gilmore hit two free throws to seal the victory.

Gilmore said he was calm at the line.

"I knew it wasn't any pressure," he said. "I've been in this situation before."

No. 2 St. Frances avenged its loss against No. 5 City on Thursday by routing Walbrook, 66-44, in the final game.

Panthers (14-6) guard Sean Mosley scored 18 of the team's first 19 points and the Panthers defense held Walbrook (5-6) to just nine points in the first half.

Mosley had a game-high 28 points. Warriors sophomore forward Roscoe Smith had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks.

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