Mount St. Joe repels stubborn Aberdeen

December 18, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

In a game where patience was a lost virtue, Mount St. Joseph (4-4) made three free throws in the final 38 seconds and escaped with a 60-57 victory at Aberdeen (3-1) last night.

The visitors made the opening quarter their best one of the game, building a 21-14 lead, but just when it appeared they could put this one away, they seemed to back off and let Aberdeen hang around and stay in contention.

This was true as late as the closing two minutes, too. The home team had struggled to get ties at 47 and 49, then had three turnovers as the Baltimore school, helped by two foul shots and dTC a basket by Rich Dent, pulled out to a 55-49 margin.

Once again, Aberdeen came back, closing to 57-54 and to 59-57 on two Fred Cole three-pointers. It turned out to be the last gasp.

Along the way, St. Joe's Ray Smith had protected his side's lead with a basket for 57-51 at 1:05 and two free throws for 59-54 with 38 seconds left. Cheo Thomas' foul shot with nine seconds to go made it 60-57, but Aberdeen still was not finished.

Pushing the ball up court, Jason Anderson launched a three-point attempt out of the corner, but the ball hit the rim and bounced away at the buzzer.

Anderson had made a similar running one-hander at the end of the half to pull the Eagles within 29-26 at the break.

"The first quarter was our best, but after that we wanted to score, but be patient about it and not take bad shots and we kind of got hung up on that," Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchley said.

The Gaels' coach still is trying to blend in three transfers, including Hedrick and Dent, plus several from last year's JV team with several holdovers.

Aberdeen is in much the same situation, as coach Ron Petrey tries to work with Jordan, a 6-foot-7 senior transfer from North Carolina, and several JV players, plus holdovers Hosea Edwards, the only returning starter from last year's 18-6 regional finalist, and 6-5 Steve James.

"We were within three at the half, then started the third quarter with two turnovers," Petrey said. "Then there were a couple more late that were critical.

"We took shots we don't normally take. With their defense [basically man-to-man], we were not patient enough to pass the ball around and get it to the blocks for Jordan.

"They [Mount St. Joseph] were patient when they had to be, using several passes, where we would come down, see an opening and try to force something or put up a shot with nobody near the basket. It was frustrating."

Smith led the winners with 17 points, followed by Dent and Dan Whye, 14 apiece. For Aberdeen, Jordan had 14 points before fouling out with 3:34 left. Cole added 13, and Edwards 11.

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