The inconsistency of Towson Catholic has bothered coach Mike Daniels. But he can't complain about his team's record in the Catholic League.
Yesterday, the No. 11 Owls improved to 4-1 with a 57-47 victory over No. 20 St. Frances in a preliminary game of the Charm City Classic at the Towson Center.
Junior guard Reggie Rhinehart led all scorers for Towson Catholic (10-6 overall) with 22 points and had four assists. Junior forward Shariff Butler added 17 and 11 rebounds.
"Again, as I seem to say in every interview, 'I'm trying to get some consistency here,' " said Daniels, whose team trails only Cardinal Gibbons (5-0) in the league standings. "I'll take a win any kind of way we can get it. We waited until the fourth quarter to do some things, but it worked out well for us."
Trailing, 40-35, at the beginning of the final period, Towson Catholic turned up its pressure on St. Frances' guards, outscoring the Panthers, 22-7, with Rhinehart and Butler combining to score 17.
"We've got to get out more quickly on teams," said Rhinehart. "We can't rely on pulling games out late because good teams won't let you do that."
Down 43-38 with 6 minutes, 26 seconds remaining, Towson Catholic scored eight straight to gain the advantage at 46-43 with 3:50 left. St. Frances closed the margin to 48-47 before the Owls completed the game with nine straight points.
Senior center Michael Smith led St. Frances (5-8, 1-4) with 12 points and eight rebounds. Senior point guard Phil Smith added 11 and five assists.
The Panthers surprised the Owls in the first three quarters, slowing the tempo and sitting back in different zones, but the Panthers got sloppy under the Towson Catholic pressure in the fourth, turning the ball over eight times.
"In the end, we just made some crazy mistakes," said St. Frances coach William Wells. "I told them in the locker room before the game that we had to be patient, move the ball around, and we could outplay them, and we did for 3 1/2 quarters.