Loyola rolls to win over Catonsville

December 28, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

The Catonsville Comets looked to be on a path to victory last night after jumping out to a 14-7 lead over Loyola in the first round of the Wes Unseld Holiday Tournament at Catonsville Community College.

By halftime, however, it was clear that somewhere along the line the Comets got lost.

Trailing by seven after the first six minutes, Loyola outscored Catonsville 30-5 over the next 13:29 and went on to a 58-40 victory.

The Dons advanced to tonight's 8 p.m. semifinal against defending champion No. 6 Woodlawn, a 93-49 winner over Hammond in last night's final opening-round game. The other semifinal, tonight at 6, will pit No. 13 Broadneck and No. 14 Mount St. Joseph, both winners yesterday. Broadneck beat Edmondson, 65-60 and Mount St. Joseph held off Edmondson, 63-57.

"Defense was the difference," said Loyola forward Tim O'Hara, who led all scorers with 18 points. "They got off to a quick start, but we realized that once we buckled down and played some defense we'd be right back in it. We just went in there and tried to shut them down."

And the Dons succeeded.

Their harassing man-to-man defense, coupled with the Comets' inability to hit shots from the perimeter, spelled disaster for Catonsville.

The Comets went 8 minutes, 7 seconds -- over one full quarter -- without scoring a field goal, and trailed 37-19 midway through the third quarter.

"We ran into a cold spell and couldn't put the ball in the hoop," said Catonsville coach Art Gamzon. "Our shots just stopped going. I give Loyola all the credit."

The Comets (2-3) broke on top early, using a pair of three-point field goals by Tom Carey to break on top 14-7.

But that's when things caved in.

Loyola (5-4) took its first lead, 17-16, on a pair of foul shots by Jamin Bannister with 6:27 to play before halftime, and the Dons nevertrailed again.

"We played well defensively and we didn't give them any easy shots," said Loyola coach Jerry Savage.

The Dons won the tournament in 1991 before losing to Edmondson in last year's semifinals.

The Warriors, the tournament's defending champion, dominated opposing Hammond on both ends of the court, jumping out to a 26-13 lead and rolling to a 93-49 win.

"We've been a little bit sporadic, lately, but I think we were more focused, defensively, tonight," said Woodlawn coach Rod Norris. "Out goal was to just come here and play good basketball."

And the Warriors (5-0) did just that.

They used their height advantage to dominate the inside, as 6-foot-7 Guy Butler led all scorers with 28 points and 6-7 Emmanuel Adekunle scored 14, but also shot well from the outside, where guard Keion Carpenter scored 14.

In the day's first game, No. 13 Broadneck got a game-high 28 points from guard Jason Smith.

Smith did the bulk of his scoring from the perimeter, where he sank two of the Bruins' seven three-point field goals. Broadneck (4-0) shot 55 percent for the game.

But the Redskins (4-2) hung tough, hitting five three-pointers of their own and holding a slim lead until late in the first half.

"I thought Edmondson played under a tremendous amount of control," said Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek. "I knew they'd be very athletic. I just didn't anticipate them shooting so well."

By the time Terrell Smith connected on a three-pointer with under 30 seconds to play -- to complete an 11-3 run -- Edmondson had pulled to within five at 63-58.

But that's where the rally ended, as missed shots in the final seconds sealed the win for Broadneck.

Kazmarek said that the win was a good omen for the Bruins, who won the tournament from 1987-90 before playing poorly in the first round the last two seasons.

"The last two times we came down here, I wasn't at all pleased with how we played in the first round," he said. "Today, I thought we had a very good effort."

The 14th-ranked Gaels led by seven points with just over a minute to play before holding on to down the Rams who have never won a first round game in the tournament's eight-year history.

Trailing 58-51, the Rams (4-3) scored six straight points, pulling to within one on Daron Ward's layup with 43 seconds left.

But the Gaels' Kenny Krabitz made five of six foul shots in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.

Was Clatchley worried about the Rams' late run.

"That's an understatement," said Clatchley, whose team missed the front end of three one-and-ones down the stretch. "I was not pleased with our performance by any stretch of the imagination."

Six-foot-seven Rick Dent led Mount St. Joe (6-5) with 16, Cheo Thomas had 13, and Krabitz and Ray Smith added 11 apiece.

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