No. 10 Seton Keough tops Mt. de Sales

January 16, 1995|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

With his team coming off its biggest victory of the season last week, Seton Keough coach Jim Stromberg cautioned the Gators about having a letdown against No. 15 Mount de Sales yesterday.

Fortunately for Stromberg, his players heeded his warning, as the host and 10th-ranked Gators turned back the pesky Sailors, 42-36, in a Catholic League game.

Stromberg said he was concerned that his team would look past Mount de Sales after Wednesday's 54-53 victory over No. 8 St. Mary's, Seton Keough's first win over the three-time defending league champions in four years.

"We were worried because this is a big rivalry against Mount de Sales, and we're ranked ahead of them which also gave them a little more incentive," Stromberg said.

The Sailors (9-5, 2-5) -- who dropped a 37-30 decision to the Gators earlier this season -- engaged in a tight defensive contest with Seton Keough, but the Gators proved to be up for the challenge.

Seton Keough (12-1, 6-1) limited Mount de Sales to just eight field goals and did an especially good job containing the Sailors' 6-foot-1 center, Amy Buck.

With Melanie Morris (13 points) and Meghann Donovan switching off on Buck, the Gators held the second-team All-Metro player to 13 points -- five below her average -- on 3-for-12 shooting from the field.

"We just tried to keep someone between [Buck] and the ball," Stromberg said. "We tried to deny the flash to her, and if she did catch it, we tried to get on either her strong side or weak side and force her to go that way. We didn't want to give her too many looks at the basket down low either."

Mount de Sales coach Bill Held was pleased with his team's defensive play as well, especially in the second half when the Sailors outscored Seton Keough, 18-15.

"We're not a top-ranked team, we're just a medium team with medium skills playing great ball," Held said. "We're holding a top 10 team to 42 points, 37 the first game -- that's great defense."

The Gators took an 8-6 advantage on Amanda Foster's basket with 2:56 remaining in the first quarter and never relinquished the lead.

Mount de Sales, which trailed by nine at halftime, pulled within 27-23 on a 15-footer by Ana Martinez (11 points) with 5:53 left in the third quarter, but that's as close as the Sailors would get.

After Charity Carbine found Katie Sparks open for a layup to give the Gators a 42-32 lead with 1:52 remaining, Seton Keough withstood one final rally by the Sailors.

Lisa Banbury made two free throws with 37 seconds left to close the gap to 42-34. Seton Keough then turned over the ball on the inbounds play, and Buck scored inside to make it 42-36 with 27 seconds remaining.

The Sailors got the ball back again with 18 seconds left after a steal by Christy Buck, but they missed three shots before Foster got a steal with two seconds left to secure the victory.

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