McDonogh wins title with 5th straight Gilman Tournament

December 31, 1992|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Don't let their 5-3 record fool you. The McDonogh Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the metro area.

Last night, the Eagles won their fifth straight in the final of the Gilman Greyhounds Alumni Holiday Basketball Tournament with a 43-36 victory over Lawrenceville (N.J.).

For McDonogh coach Albie Swartz, it was only a matter of time.

"Seven of our top players were on the football team, and they just weren't ready to play early on," said Swartz. "Now they're loosening up and playing better."

The Eagles slowed the pace on a quicker Lawrenceville team, holding leading scorers Dave Bruinooge and Eric Scott to a combined 24 points, then made their foul shots down the stretch.

"Our coach told us not to underestimate them," said Eagles point guard Donte Evans, who was named tournament MVP despite scoring only 10 points, several below his average. "Coach told me the most important thing was that the rest of the team stay involved on offense."

He did his job well, as five McDonogh players played major roles on offense. Sean Sullivan led the Eagles with 12 points, followed by Evans (10), Bobby Sabelhaus (nine), Dwayne Stukes (seven) and Tommy Layden (five).

The Eagles, who defeated tournament-host Gilman, 69-53, in Tuesday's semifinal round, were stingy on defense, forcing 19 Lawrenceville turnovers and allowing them just three shots, all unsuccessful, in the third quarter.

McDonogh played well from the start, using an 11-0 run to build an 11-4 lead with 3:33 left in the first quarter. Then, after a Bruinooge foul shot put Lawrenceville within one, the Eagles ran off six straight points to take an 18-11 lead with 4:04 left in the second quarter.

Lawrenceville (4-5) helped McDonogh's cause with poor shooting, as the Big Red hit just two of 14 shots during a 12-minute stretch midway through the second half.

In the consolation game, Haverford (Pa.) connected on 21 of 28 free throws, including eight of 10 in the fourth quarter, to hold off Gilman, 50-47.

"They beat us at the line," said Gilman coach Tim Holley, whose team was outscored, 21-13, from the foul line. "We're still struggling, offensively, and it showed."

Gilman (4-9), was led by Jimmy Fields, who scored a game-high 17 points. Chris Connolly led Haverford with 14.

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