Gibbons holds off Calvert Hall, 70-64

January 27, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

The fourth quarter -- and Steve Wojciechowski -- made the difference last night for Cardinal Gibbons.

Wojciechowski scored 11 of Cardinal Gibbons' 15 fourth-quarter points -- part of his game-high 31 -- to lead the visiting and No. 6 Crusaders to a 70-64 victory over pesky No. 20 Calvert Hall in a Catholic League battle for first place.

Wojciechowski was 9-for-10 from the line in the fourth quarter as Cardinal Gibbons (15-4, 5-0) broke an eight-game Calvert Hall winning streak.

"He's a quality player," said Cardinal Gibbons coach Ray Mullis. "He's just an outstanding young man."

The senior guard, headed for Duke next year, controlled play in the fourth quarter, after Calvert Hall (11-6, 3-1) had sliced a 10-point Gibbons lead to two at the end of the third quarter.

But Gibbons then found the value of patience. Mullis, who won pTC his 600th game Tuesday night, instructed his team to simply look for the layup. That would open up passing and present good scoring chances.

The Crusaders wound up eating large blocks of time with their patient offense, directed by Wojciechowski. Cardinal Gibbons used up 1:14 on one possession midway through the quarter.

"We just looked to get good shots," said Wojciechowski, who finished with six assists and five steals. "In the fourth quarter, we used patience to our advantage."

Calvert Hall, meanwhile, could do little without the ball. The Cardinals put up only six shots in the first six minutes of the quarter, as Gibbons ran down the clock.

"The offense was moving the ball [well]," said Mullis. "If you move the ball, the defense will move and opportunities will be presenting themselves."

And they did. The Cardinals drew several fouls, making the nine free throws from Wojciechowski (14-for-17 from the line) as well as three baskets from no farther than 10 feet.

Gibbons pulled out to a 66-56 lead when Wojciechowski hit two free throws with 2:21 left. As it had done all game, Calvert Hall answered, scoring the next six points.

Wojciechowski then sealed the victory by twice making both ends of one-and-ones for the final margin.

"We knew what they were trying to do," said Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci. "We had pretty good patience."

Gibbons also got help from other places. Jerard Rucker (16 points) made several key shots, as did Josh Davalli (10 points). Ryan Beaumont scored five points, played good defense on Brian Taylor and grabbed eight rebounds.

John McKay (19 points) and Taylor (16 points) led Calvert Hall on offense. The two combined for most of the Cardinals' offense in the final quarter, as they tried to stay close.

"If we come and play very hard and execute, then we can come and stay in any game," said Amatucci. "[The Crusaders] did what they had to do."

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