Suitland 67,

Northwestern 64

If Suitland senior Deyon Williams has one regret about his high school career, it is that he didn't play basketball last year so he could focus on indoor track.

"I never knew how much I would miss basketball," he said. "So I promised myself that during my senior year, I was going to play basketball -- no matter what."

The Rams are certainly glad to have Williams, as he keyed a late rally in 14th-ranked Rams' 67-64 victory at No. 18 Northwestern in a Prince George's 4A game last night in Hyattsville.

Williams's layup with 1 minute 6 seconds left gave the Rams a 63-61 lead, capping a 26-13 run that enabled Suitland to rally from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter.

The Rams (13-4, 11-3) won their seventh consecutive game to move into a tie for second place in the league with Northwestern (11-5, 11-3), which has dropped two of its past three games.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Williams, who tied a career high with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting, is a three-sport athlete at Suitland, and his style of play on the basketball court attests to it. Williams used the leaping ability he displayed on the football field to pull down three rebounds and force Northwestern junior center Jeff Green into missing a potentially game-tying jumper with 20 seconds left. Less than a minute earlier, Williams, a member of the track team, raced downcourt and rebounded a missed shot by teammate Navarro Bowman before making his layup for a 63-61 lead.

"Deyon really doesn't need to play basketball," Suitland Coach Tyrone Massenburg said of Williams, an All-Met wide receiver who is expected to sign a letter-of-intent this morning to attend Virginia on a football scholarship. "He has a passion for basketball, and he wants to help our team."

Suitland junior center Charles Richardson also tied a career high last night by scoring 20 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds, and junior guard Bobby Maze and senior guard Sean Jennings added 15 and eight points, respectively.

The Wildcats were led by Green, who matched a career high by scoring 22 points to go with 12 rebounds.