COLLEGE PARK, MD - The outcome had been determined for quite some time, but as the clock counted down to zero in Lake Clifton’s Maryland Class 1A State Championship victory over Southern-Garrett, that didn’t stop the tears of joy from flowing.
Saturday’s 64-46 win at the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center made history for Lake Clifton, making it the first team in the state to win a championship in all four classifications. The Lakers won the 4A title in 1999, 3A in 2009 and the 2A in 2012 and 2018. Lake won the 2A last year before moving down to 1A, giving them a title repeat as well.
“It’s great for our school and our community,” Lake coach Herman “Tree” Harried said. “You know, basketball at Lake Clifton-Reach does everything for that area, and I’m just proud to bring that kind of positive spirit to the school and to the area and bring that kind of history to the school and to the area. So it feels great, it really does.”
The tandem of 2019 guard Armon Harried (35) and 2020 guard Michael Gray (22) combined for 57 of Lake’s 64 points, with 2019 guard David Harris providing the other 7. Gray went 8-of-14 from the field, including a sizzling 6-of-8 from 3-point range.
Armon Harried also grabbed 13 rebounds in his final game for his father, a day after going for 27 points and 12 boards in a semifinal win over Frederick Douglass-PG.
“Its special because I’ve seen him win all the championships, beside the one he won before I was born," the younger Harried said. "So, I’ve seen him win every championship, and last year was the first one we got to do together. This year’s just another one, but then it’s more about how we helped him finish a goal, because he already the 2A, 3A and the 4A, so now he has the 1A so now he’s completed it all. So we helped him finish something, as he helped us get it.”
After a tight first quarter - Lake led 16-12 - the Lakers began to separate in the second, with a Harried tip-in giving them a 34-22 lead at the half. They blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Rams 24-12 in the frame.
A day after going 0-for-6 from 3-point range in semifinal win over Frederick Douglass-PG, the Lakers went 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) from deep against Southern. They went 5-for-7 in the pivotal third quarter.
“We haven’t shot that well in about 10, 12, 14 games as far as that kind of level of shooting,” Coach Harried said, “and they just picked the right time to do it. They turned it up when we needed it and they’ve been been doing it all year long.”
Southern-Garrett coach Tom Bosley admitted he didn’t expect Lake Clifton to shoot so well, adding that overall the Lakers’ athleticism and advantage on the boards were also major factors.
“I kept telling our players, ‘They can’t keep shooting like this. Hang in there and let’s keep it as close as we can,’’’ he said. “And then - you watched the game. We’ve had an unbelievable year and an unbelievable run, and we ran into a buzzsaw on a particular day.”
2019 guard Tyler Rodeheaver led the Rams with 14 Points, while 2019 guard Dalton Wiles finished with 11.