Pat Young scored the tying basket on a driving layup with four seconds to play and added a free throw for the winning point to complete the three-point play, as host and No. 14 Mount St. Joseph beat No. 7 St. Frances, 62-61, in a Catholic League game yesterday.
The Gaels (8-4, 2-0) battled back from a six-point deficit after three quarters but never took the lead until Young provided the late heroics. St. Frances (5-4, 1-1) had broken a 59-59 deadlock when Antwan Wingo, who led the Panthers with 18 points, hit a bank shot with 12 seconds remaining.
But Young took the inbounds pass and knew what he had to do. "I just knew we had to score," Young, the 6-foot senior guard and co-captain, said. "At that point, I just liked the feel of having the ball in my hands."
After Young's three-point play put St. Joe on top, 62-61, St. Frances called a timeout. Wingo took the inbound pass and raced downcourt. His layup rolled off the front of the rim, but the trail official had already signaled that time had expired before the shot.
St. Frances took a 31-27 lead in the final minutes of the first half, as All-Metro player Devin Gray (16 points) scored the final five of the half.
Then St. Frances protected that lead in most of the second half. But foul problems sent Gray, who committed all five of his fouls after intermission, and sophomore Eric Carroll (13 points) from .. the game in the closing two minutes.
"We knew we didn't have as big a challenge after [Gray] fouled out," Young said.
But St. Frances coach William Wells knew his Panthers had missed several opportunities to expand on their lead in the final minutes. "We didn't play well down the stretch," Wells said. "We had chances to put the game away at the end, but St. Joe put a lot of pressure on, and the kids didn't respond. We'll let them have this one. They deserved it."
Leading 57-53 after two free throws from Wingo with three
minutes left, Panthers forward Mike Smith missed the first end of two one-and-one foul situations in the next minute. But Gray went over the back of St. Joe's Sharif Butler on the second try, and that was his fifth foul.
St. Joe's Darrin Jones (16 points) converted a three-point play with 1:04 left to cut the Panther lead to 59-57. Then Smith lost control of the ball on a layup try. And after Philip Dixon tracked down a loose ball for St. Frances, Smith had his next shot blocked.
Both teams missed the front end of one-and-one situations in the next 10 seconds, before Jones scored on a sharp feed from Ron Isaacs with 22 seconds left to tie the score at 59 for the Gaels.
"Darrin Jones was patient and he came to the fore in the fourth quarter," St. Joe coach Pat Maggio said. "And then Pat Young made a hell of a decision at the end of the game."
In other games, Casey Musick scored 15 points, as No. 5 Cardinal Gibbons (9-4) edged host Calvert Hall, 52-50. Roland Brown led the Cardinals with a game-high 18 points.
Paul Howard's 17 points led No. 12 Loyola over visiting Towson Catholic, 59-39. Dan Donovan added 14 points for the Dons.