F.S. Key withstands rally by Catoctin, wins, 88-81

January 12, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

Long gone are the days when a team could simply show up against Catoctin and chalk up a win. The Francis Scott Key Eagles were well aware of the fact.

The Eagles jumped to a big lead, saw it disappear for a moment in the fourth quarter and regrouped to come away with a 88-81 win over Catoctin last night.

The visiting Cougars (7-3, 3-2 in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League), who broke a 68-game losing streak earlier in the season, showed just how far they've come by rallying from a 20-point deficit.

But it was the Eagles (5-3, 2-2 in the MVAL) who hit the big shots to take control down the stretch.

There were plenty of heroes in the win for the Eagles, but none came up bigger down the stretch than senior Steve Wright.

Wright, who sat on the bench for most of the second quarter and all of the third with foul trouble, scored nine of his 15 points late in the fourth quarter, had two key assists and played a big role on defense.

"He hit some big shots for us down the stretch and came in and helped us with rebounding and defense," said Key coach Jeff Cook. "This was a big win for us. Those guys have beaten some quality teams this year."

Kyle Stephenson led four Eagles in double figures with 25. Topher Casserly had 23 and Dan Stephenson scored 14.

The Eagles led 30-10 after one quarter and 48-31 at halftime, but

saw Catoctin begin its rally with six three-pointers in the third quarter to get within 67-61 after three.

With 6:05 left in the game, Catoctin's Tony Mennito, who finished with a game-high 30, hit a three-pointer to give the Cougars their first lead (70-69) since the opening basket.

Wright got Key back on top with a follow-up basket to make it 71-70 with 4:05. He was in on the next nine points with five of his own and two assists and the Eagles were back in control at 80-71 with under two minutes left.

The Cougars came into the game averaging around 90 points, twice reaching the 100-point plateau. Their run-and-gun style didn't seem to faze Cook and his Eagles.

"We weren't concerned with how many points they would score, as long as we scored more. We wanted to run against them," said Cook.

"I thought we got a little tired in the third quarter and that affected our defense and shooting, but we regrouped well down the stretch."

The Eagles did little wrong in a 30-point first quarter. After Catoctin got back-to-back three-pointer from Rodney Wagerman and Brad Dugan to cut the Eagles' lead to 9-8, Key scored 21 of the final 23 points of the quarter to take a 30-10 lead.

Casserly and Kyle Stephenson combined to score 20 points in the quarter and the Eagles dominated the offensive boards and converted eight second-chance points.

The Eagles maintained the lead for most of the second quarter and went into halftime with a 48-31 lead on Casserly's jumper at the buzzer.

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