Too big, too powerful, too much.
In the words of Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel, that's why St. John's Prospect Hall of Frederick, ranked No. 6 nationally by USA Today, defeated his Owls, 67-46, in the Reebok Charm City Classic last night at the Towson Center.
Towson Catholic (6-6), ranked No. 9 by The Baltimore Sun, could not match the power of St. John's Prospect Hall (11-1) inside.
"Their strength just overwhelmed us," said Daniel. "We just didn't have the strength or experience inside to stop them. They worked us over pretty good."
St. John's Prospect Hall repeatedly pounded the ball inside for easy shots. Center Kevin Ward got most of those for the Vikings, hitting nine of 14 from the field and finishing with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
"I kept calling for the ball," said Ward, a 6-foot-8 senior. "I was just going to the basket."
That's what the Vikings did most of the night. St. John's Prospect Hall (27-for-52 from the field overall) made 16 of 25 from the field (64 percent) in the second half. Ten of those were layups.
Towson Catholic struggled on offense. The Owls hit 34 percent from the field and were rarely able to get the ball inside.
Daniel said he knew St. John's Prospect Hall averaged nearly 90 points and did not want an up-tempo game. Towson Catholic tried to control the tempo by being deliberate on offense. In addition, the Owls kept changing defenses to try to confuse the Vikings.
The strategy worked for a while. The Vikings, who had not played in eight days and finished exams earlier in the day, came out sluggishly. They scored seven baskets in the first 13 minutes.
Towson Catholic kept it close, but St. John's Prospect Hall used a 14-1 run to take a 37-17 lead early in the second half. The Owls used a 14-point effort in the third quarter from Sharif Butler (game-high 23 points) to cut the lead to 47-36.
Cameron Dollar (13 points, four assists) sparked the Vikings by stealing the inbounds pass at the start of the fourth quarter. He then fed Tarik Turner for an easy layup, and Towson Catholic never challenged again.
"We just decided at halftime to execute what we do well," said St. John's Prospect Hall coach Stu Vetter. "[We thought] that would be enough to take control."
Daniel said he saw some positive signs. He said he liked the way Richard Rhinehart ran the offense and how Butler shot well at times. Also, Daniel said the defense did a good job.
"It's the best team we've played," said Daniel. "They were just too much.