St. Frances holds off Gibbons

February 13, 1993|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,Contributing Writer

St. Frances withstood a spirited late rally by Cardinal Gibbons to capture a 77-68 Catholic League decision at the University of Baltimore last night.

The Panthers built a nine-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but then had to hold off a late rally by Boys basketball

No. 10 Gibbons (16-12, 5-6).

Trailing by 57-48 with under six minutes to play, the Crusaders closed to within 57-56 in a little less than two minutes, closing the spurt with a short jumper by Kevin Dukes.

But the visitors could never take the lead, as Darryle Dantzler hit a driving layup for a three-point play and Jason Morgan a basket from inside to open a 62-56 lead.

And when the Panthers scored eight straight in the final minute, the outcome was decided.

"We're picking up steam," said Panthers coach William Wells. "Our team is playing well. We stopped worrying about who the high point man is and we coming on."

Patrick Johnson led the Panthers (10-10, 7-5) with 18 points, and Orlando Ranson and Wayne Wheeler each added 14.

Gibbons got a 23-point performance from senior Troy Queen and 15 from Dukes but lost junior guard Steve Wojciechowski on fouls when it had cut the lead to one midway through the fourth quarter.

The two teams had battled throughout a first half in which neither team took a lead of more than three points and ended with St. Frances holding a 35-34 advantage.

Johnson hit a pair of baskets to start and eight-point run midway in the third quarter that opened a 45-38 lead and Gibbons could never regain the lead.

In a first quarter that had six lead changes and six ties, neither team had larger than a three-point lead.

The Panthers shot 9-for-17 from the field and Gibbons hit seven of 17.

A follow-up shot by the Crusaders' Jerard Rucker tied the game at the end of the period, 19-19.

Early in the second quarter, St. Frances continued to use the strong inside play of Johnson, who hit six consecutive field goals to move ahead 25-21.

But Gibbons stayed close, as Dukes, who had been held scoreless in the first quarter, scored six in the first four minutes of the quarter. His third basket tied the game at 25.

After that, there were five lead changes before halftime, which had the Panthers ahead 35-34.

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