It was a super Sunday for the Cardinal Gibbons defense in general and for Quintin Moody in particular at Loyola yesterday.
The No. 7 Crusaders limited host and No. 11 Loyola to 10 points in each of the first two quarters, as Gibbons opened a 15-point halftime lead and registered a 66-55 victory. Moody scored 32 points.
"Those are the best back-to-back defensive efforts we've had all season," said Gibbons coach Ray Mullis, alluding also to Friday's 79-62 victory over Towson Catholic. "We did everything we wanted to do defensively."
The win was important for the Crusaders (13-7) because it counted in the Catholic League and the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference Division II races. Gibbons (5-1) remains in a three-way battle in the A Conference with Southern and Lake Clifton; each has one loss. Gibbons improved to 5-2 in the Catholic League. Loyola (11-10) dropped to 5-3 in the Catholic League and 1-6 in the A Conference.
Defense was a team effort, but the play of junior guard Moody provided the offense that moved Gibbons into its big early lead.
Moody, picking up the scoring burden with leading scorer Casey Musick out of the starting lineup with chest injuries incurred Tuesday against Lake Clifton, scored 15 in the first quarter, as the visitors opened a 19-10 edge. He scored 20 of the first 24 Gibbons points.
"Moody took over for us," Mullis said. "We told him the baseline was open, and he used it."
Moody added three first-half three-pointers on his way to 22 first-half points. He made seven of 10 field-goal tries to help build a 35-20 lead.
"I thought Gibbons did a great job as a team," Loyola coach Jerry Savage said. "They pressured us early and took us out of our offense. And Moody killed us. When he had to pick up the scoring slack, he did."
Loyola, which started the game without seniors Mike Smith and Paul Howard, who had been bothered by the flu throughout the week, never got going in the opening half.
"When we were getting blitzed early, I put Mike and Paul in, but that was silly," said Savage, who didn't bring either back in the second half.
Loyola, trailing by as many as 20 late in the third quarter, had a fourth-quarter surge that closed the gap to 58-48 after a three-pointer by Steve Kraning with three minutes to play.
But Moody scored the next four on a follow shot and a layup off a feed from Nick Angelo, and the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Ross Peacock scored 11 of his 17 in the second half to give Moody some help, and Musick came off the bench to score eight in limited action.
Loyola had four players in double figures, led by Dan Donovan with 15 points, but 21-for-53 shooting was too poor to pull out a win.
In other Catholic League games, Darrin Jones scored 21 and Ron Isaacs 16, as No. 5 Mount St. Joseph (14-5, 7-0) defeated visiting Archbishop Curley, 83-63. Bryan Bowen led Curley with 23.
Devin Gray's game-high 19 led No. 16 St. Frances (11-5, 6-2) to a 51-41 victory over host Calvert Hall (5-14, 2-6). Eric Carroll added 16 for St. Frances.
Tim Wallace scored 28 and Tony Bishop 20, as visiting Towson Catholic (7-9, 3-3) beat St. Maria Goretti (10-9, 2-4), 79-63.