No. 18 Loyola topples No. 16 Severn, 84-71 BOYS BASKETBALL

January 04, 1995|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

For No. 16 Severn, "the game after" was a game to forget.

For Loyola guard Mike O'Neill, it was one to remember fondly.

Just six days after nearly upsetting top-ranked Lake Clifton, the host Admirals looked listless for much of yesterday's game against the 18th-ranked Dons, shooting 37 percent in the first half and falling behind by double digits early in the third quarter.

But just as draining was Loyola's sizzling shooting. With O'Neill's seven three-pointers and career-high 28 points leading the way, the Dons were able to stave off a series of late rallies and hang on for an 84-71 win in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.

Loyola shot 70 percent from the field in the second half and 60 percent for the game -- including 10 of 15 from three-point range.

O'Neill led the way, ripping out of a recent shooting slump by hitting seven of his nine attempts from beyond the stripe.

"It was really feeling good out there for a while," said the 6-foot-2 senior, who topped his previous career best of 24, which he accomplished earlier this season against Wilde Lake. "We had good penetration. [Point guard] Jason [Vogtman] was getting past their first guard and their second guard had to come up on him. That left our guards wide open for threes."

And they seldom misfired.

Trailing 16-12, the Dons (7-3, 3-0) hit five straight shots, going on a 14-2 run to take a 26-18 lead midway through the second quarter.

After the Admirals (9-5, 1-3) had pulled to within 62-61, Loyola reeled off six consecutive shots and scored 10 of the next 11 points.

"They played an awesome game," said Severn coach Wayne Fowler. "I can't remember anyone scoring 84 points on us.

"But we were just not ready to play, top to bottom."

Guards Jared Clelan (17 points), Vogtman (16) and center Matt Neumayer (15) also played large roles on Loyola's offense.

"I thought we showed a lot letting them come back to within one, surviving that and then regaining control of the game," said Loyola coach Jerry Savage.

For Severn, which was led by forward John Vereen (21) and guard Alhamisi Simms (17), the weak performance was difficult to explain.

"I thought our practices this week were outstanding," said Fowler, whose team moved up from the B to the A Conference this season. "Maybe we don't have enough experience at this level to get ready to play, game-in, game-out."

When asked if his team may have been overconfident after coming within two points of nationally ranked Lake Clifton last Wednesday, Fowler said that one of his goals all week in practice had been to make his players forget about that game.

"The last time I checked, we lost to Lake Clifton," he said. "Everybody keeps on congratulating us, but we had our chances and didn't take advantage of them."

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