Lackey’s Proc­tor on na­tional stage at Un­der Ar­mour game

Everett scores 22 as Charg­ers move to 8-1

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Fol­low­ing a third quar­ter in which nei­ther team scored 10 points as the tempo of the con- test was dulled by nu­mer­ous turnovers from both squads, the Lackey High School boys bas- ket­ball team edged host Thomas Stone, 59-58, in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Di­vi­sion con­test, dur­ing a fre­netic fourth quar­ter that ac­count- ed for one-third of the game’s scor­ing.

Lackey (8-1, 1-0 SMAC Po­tomac) started the game on a 7-0 run and later forged another sev- en-point lead in the third quar­ter. But through­out much of the fourth quar- ter, the Charg­ers were sim­ply look­ing to with- stand the Cougars’ late surge, yield­ing the lead only once for a grand to­tal of 33 sec­onds.

Stone (7-3, 1-1) was fac­ing an up­hill bat­tle vir­tu­ally from the open­ing four min­utes, but it ral­lied to draw even briefly be­fore the end of the first quar­ter and again mid­way through the fourth quar­ter at 48. The Charg­ers coun­tered with a three-point field goal from James Wilk­er­son and a layup from Vin­cent Parker for a 53-48 lead.

Stone re­sponded with a layup from Kevin Skidmore, another layup from Gary Grant off an as­sist from Skidmore and a pair of free throws from Donovan McCrae to take its first and only lead of the night at 54-53 with 1 minute 24 sec­onds re­main­ing, prompt­ing Lackey head coach Sean Fox to call

a time­out to set­tle his play­ers for the cru­cial late stage of the con­test.

“We knew they were go­ing to be tough and they were go­ing to foul,” said Fox, whose team is sched­uled to host North Point at 6:30 tonight. “We wanted to make sure that the guys who went to the [free-throw] line were ready to make those shots. We didn’t make as many free throws as we would have liked (10 of 21 for the night, 47.6 per­cent), but we made enough. That’s still one of our weak­nesses.”

Wilk­er­son fol­lowed by hit­ting a pair of free throws to give the Charg­ers the lead again at 55-54, then Vin­cent Parker hit the first of two foul shots and missed the sec­ond. The missed free throw was a key turn­ing point in the game as Wilk­er­son grabbed the of- fen­sive re­bound and con­verted it into an im­me­di­ate layup for a 58-54 lead.

“I think their tough­ness was the dif­fer­ence,” Stone head coach Dale Lam­berth said. “They were just tougher than we were. We needed to get that de­fen­sive re­bound off the missed free throw. When you let the other team get the of­fen­sive re­bound and then a layup at that stage of the game, that’s a big turn­ing point.”

Grant coun­tered with a bucket for Stone to make it 58-56 with 21 sec­onds re­main­ing. Af­ter Ha­keem Ever- ett (game-high 22 points) hit one of two free throws with 19.6 sec­onds to play, McCrae re­sponded with a bas­ket to bring the hosts within 5958. Parker missed two free throws with 6.2 sec­onds to play, but Stone was un­able to cap­i­tal­ize when Skidmore’s des­per­a­tion three-pointer was off tar­get.

“Any­time you face Stone, you know it’s go­ing to be a tough, tough game,” Fox said. “They’re one of the best teams in Charles County and it’s a ri­valry game. We knew they were go­ing to bat­tle the whole way. Our guys showed a lot of fight down the stretch.”

Stone play­ers and coaches grad­u­ally me­an­dered from the court and the locker room af­ter­ward, but Lam­berth at- tempted to re­mind his play­ers im­me­di­ately af­ter the game that the Cougars sea­son is far from over. Stone will travel to West­lake for a 6:30 tip-off tonight in another cross-county ri­valry game, and the Cougars still have another league meet­ing with Lackey, on Lackey’s home floor on Jan. 27, and could face the Charg­ers again dur­ing the Class 2A South Re­gion play­offs.

“I told the kids the sea­son’s not over,” Lam­berth said. “I re­minded them that we have prac­tice on Thurs­day and another game on Fri­day. We have a lot of things to work on, but it’s still early in the sea­son. We’ll see them one more time, but we have a lot of big games be­tween now and then.”

Lackey gained ad­van­tage in spurts on Wed­nes­day, rac­ing to a 7-0 lead soon af­ter the open­ing tip-off and forged a 10-2 lead on a three-pointer from Everett. But each time the Charg­ers forged a big lead, Stone had a re­sponse. Lackey in­creased a 33-30 half­time lead to 39-32 mid­way through the third quar­ter, but the Cougars ral­lied to get within two points at 41-39 head­ing into the fourth quar­ter.

PHOTO BY JERRY BALLENGEE

Lackey High School se­nior Ha­keem Everett scored 22 points in Wed­nes­day’s 5958 vic­tory over Thomas Stone in an early sea­son clash be­tween South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Di­vi­sion ri­vals.

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