Free throws with :01 left lift St. Frances

February 05, 1994|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,Special to The Sun

Freshman center Mark Karcher made two free throws with one second remaining in the fourth quarter to cap a spirited comeback and lift No. 15 St. Frances past No. 19 Calvert Hall, 53-51, at the University of Baltimore last night.

Down by 14 at the half, St. Frances (8-6 overall and 4-2 in the Catholic League) used its defensive pressure to get back into the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Cardinals 18-7 and closing a 34-20 halftime deficit to 41-38 after three quarters.

The Panthers pulled even early in the fourth quarter at 42-42 but Calvert Hall went back on top and the Panthers never took a lead until a driving layup by Kevin McClain put the Panthers ahead 51-49 with 1:17 to play.

Calvert Hall (11-8, 4-4) tied the game on a short jumper by Brian Taylor with 47 seconds left and had a chance to go ahead with 13 seconds remaining. But Calvert Hall's Tavar Witherspoon missed the first end of a one-and one foul situation and after a missed three-point shot by the Panthers, Karcher corraled the rebound and was fouled.

"If you don't rebound the ball and you don't make the one-and-ones, you have nothing to cry about," said Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci. "We had a 14-point lead at the half and a five-point lead with three minutes to go and St. Frances just physically took the game from us."

Karcher led the Panthers with 20 points and Taylor topped Calvert Hall with 17. John McKay scored 14 for the Cardinals, 13 coming in the first half as Calvert Hall built a 34-20 lead.

"We were very sluggish the first half," said St. Frances coach William Wells. "But we got more aggressive in the third quarter and my guys kept their composure down the stretch. This is a great comeback for us."

The Cardinals opened a 9-2 lead in the first two minutes of the game as McKay scored seven in the early spurt. But the Panthers fought back methodically and pulled even at 10-10 on a Karcher follow shot with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.

Calvert Hall regained the lead on a three-pointer by McKay and led 15-11 after McKay added a field goal in the closing seconds of the quarter.

The lead of the Cardinals grew to 21-13 in the early minutes of the second quarter on baskets by Gerald Spann, Taylor and Witherspoon.

Then the Panthers rallied again, closing the deficit to 21-18 midway in the quarter.

But 4-for-17 shooting from the field took its toll on St. Frances in the remainder of the half.

Calvert Hall outscored the home team 13-2 over the final 3:40 of the second quarter. A three-pointer by McKay with 15 seconds left built the largest Cardinal lead at halftime, 34-20.

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