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No. 11 Woodlawn boys smother Lansdowne for 69-37 win in Class 3A North first round

For The Baltimore Sun
Full-court press was the key for No. 11 Woodlawn to move on in the Class 3A North playoffs.

Woodlawn battled to pull out a six-point win when meeting Lansdowne earlier this month. The Warriors' defense helped them have a much easier time when the teams met again Friday night.

No. 11 Woodlawn struck with a full-court press for much of the first three quarters and forced 30 turnovers overall. The Warriors often turned those miscues into quick points, jumped to an early lead and rolled to a 69-37 victory over visiting Lansdowne in a Class 3A North, Section I first-round game.

Deontay Marshall led Woodlawn (19-3) with 19 points, and Nijelh Redd (10 points) was the only other Warrior who finished in double figures on a night when coach Bobby Richardson cleared the bench. Twelve Woodlawn players scored points, but the defense was the story — specifically the smothering full-court press.

"Our defense runs our offense," Marshall said. "Our defense is unstoppable [when effective]. I think we can do that every game."

Lansdowne had seen this before, but the Warriors didn't use it nearly as much in their 51-45 victory in the regular season. Richardson said the Warriors rotated defenses more in that game, but they concentrated more on the full-court pressure in this one..

He thought Woodlawn could disrupt Lansdowne (12-10) on offense by constantly pressuring the Vikings in the backcourt. That was the strategy, and it worked to perfection as the Lansdowne offense was constantly harassed and could do little in a half-court setting.

"We turned it up tonight on defense," Richardson said. "We wanted to rattle them and shake things up. We wanted to keep them thinking there were six guys out there."

That's often what it looked like. The Warriors repeatedly double-teamed and trapped the ball in that backcourt, which made passing nearly impossible. Lansdowne tried to loop or float passes over and through the defense, but Woodlawn would repeatedly intercept or turn them into steals and then easy points.

And it kept happening until Richardson called off the pressure with just under three minutes left in the third quarter sitting on a 30-point lead.

"We saw them three weeks ago and knew [the press]," Lansdowne coach Greg Karpers said "I thought we were a little slow getting to spots were we needed to be to handle it. We traveled or threw it away."

That pressure is why Woodlawn raced to a 10-1 lead in the game's first 2 minutes, 29 seconds. Lansdowne couldn't do much on offense because moving the ball over midcourt proved too difficult too often.

The Warriors stretched their lead to 28-11 at halftime, and that press limited Lansdowne to only three first-half buckets. But Lansdowne finished with 15 turnovers.

The Warriors then really broke the game open with a turnover-fueled third-quarter run. Woodlawn forced five turnovers in only 57 seconds that helped it score 12 straight points in just 1:38 for a 47-17 lead.

That's when Richardson took off the pressure and when Lansdowne's offense played better. The Vikings posted 22 points in the final 11 minutes after scoring only 17 in the first 21. But it was too late.

DaQuan Williams scored 12 of his team-high 18 for the Vikings in the final nine minutes. He drilled several outside shots, but Lansdowne ended up with only 12 field goals overall as Woodlawn's solid team defensive pressure let the Warriors take command early to advance.

Woodlawn 69, Lansdowne 37

L- Scarborough 1, Ellis 2, Robertson 2, McCho-Nji 7, Overton 7, Williams 18. Totals: 12 11-22 37.

W- Massey 2, Fulton 6, Lane 8, Brown 4, Redd 10, Rice 4, Gannon 6, I. Marshall 2, D. Marshall 19, Robinson 3, Jones-Warren 2, Brinkley 3. Totals: 29 7-13 69. Half: W, 28-11.

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